The University Florida Gators’ men’s tennis team continued its strong start to the 2012 spring season with a 6-1 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Due to the Gators’ performance on Saturday and Sunday the Gators have qualified for the ITA Indoors Championship.
Junior transfer Frank Carleton won both of his matches against his former team.
“We are very pleased and exited to get to go to the National Team Indoors, something that is very important for our program to get that exposure so that we can be better prepared for the SEC, SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament,” head coach Andy Jackson said.
Carleton teamed up with sophomore Spencer Newman in the number two doubles position for a win of 8-6 over the Wake Forest tandem of junior Danny Kreyman and sophomore Adam Lee. Carleton followed up his doubles win with a strong singles win in the number three slot. He was able to defeat junior Amogh Probhakar 6-3 6-1.
“I had to really keep my emotions in check. I tried not to even talk to the guys too much before the match and just focused on the Gators winning,” Carleton said.
Carleton’s knowledge of the ACC will come into play next week, as the Gator will travel to the No. 2-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.
Newman joined his doubles’ partner in the winner’s circle with a 6-1 6-4 victory in the number five singles against Lee. Newman got off to an especially fast start, as he was the first player to take the first set on the team. Each player on Gators’ side was able to win the first set in single’s play.
In the number three slot, junior Bob Van Overbeek and sophomore Andrew Butz won their doubles match against freshman Alex Tsai and redshirt junior Connor Sherwood 8-5.
Overbeek followed up his doubles’ win with a victory in singles. In the number one slot, he was able to win over senior David Hopkins 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.
Overbeek was able to overcome a strong serving performance from Hopkins with a strong serve of his own and a powerful forehand. Butz did not participate in singles on Sunday.
Senior Nassim Slilam and junior Billy Federhofer backed up their No. 4-ranking in doubles with an 8-3 victory over Probhakar and Hopkins.
Federhofer, behind his unique two-handed forehand, carried his doubles’ success over to singles where he defeated Tsai 6-1 6-1. Slilam, however, was not able to deliver the shutout to Wake Forest, as he lost the only match to the 115-ranked Kreyman 2-6 6-4 12-10. As the match went on, it seemed as though Slilam started to let his emotions get to him on the court.
“We have to not overreact so much in the matches when we make a few mistakes; when we get ahead, we get too happy, when we are behind, we get too upset,” coach Jackson said.
The Gators’ ability to attract talent from Paris, France has continued as the newest Gator, sophomore Florent Diep, won his match for the second day in a row. Diep’s 6-4, 6-2 victory over Sherwood, showcased an incredible one-two punch with his serve and forehand. Diep did not participate in doubles’ play.
The Gators will travel to Virginia next week to take on the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers. This indoor’s match will be a good test for the Gators and good preparation for the national indoors, which will be the site for the ITA National Indoors.