The ninth-ranked Florida men’s tennis team finished its opening weekend with a bang, topping seventh-ranked Baylor, 5-2, on Sunday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
No. 11 Alexandre Lacroix and Nassim Slilam got the first win in doubles action, topping fourth-ranked Roberto Maytin and John Peers, 8-6. Baylor evened the count with a court three victory, making the court two match for Sekou Bangoura Jr. and Andrew Butz the deciding factor.
The Gator pair traded breaks twice on the way to a 7-7 score on Baylor’s serve. On break point, Butz hit a forehand shot over the Baylor pair at the net allowing the Gators to serve out the match on Bangoura’s serve.
Singles action proved to be nearly as close a battle as doubles had been. After a tight first set that went to a tiebreaker, Slilam cruised in the second set, breaking serve at 5-2 to claim the match, 7-6(2), 6-2, to give UF its first singles win. Lacroix also faced a tough battle in the first set, twice bouncing back from being down a break to force a tiebreaker. He took that breaker, 9-7, before rolling to a 6-1 second set.
Moments later, Butz notched one of the biggest games of his young career, serving out his set against Julian Bley to clinch the victory for the Gators.
The Gators got their fifth point from Bob van Overbeek, who bounced back after dropping the first set to defeat Sergio Ramirez in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Bangoura posted a strong second set before falling to No. 22 John Peers in three. Billy Federhofer also went to three sets against Luis Grangeiro, but with the team outcome in hand, the two played a 10-point tiebreaker that went Grangeiro’s way, 10-7.
#9 Florida vs. #7 Baylor
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex
1 – (11) Lacroix/Slilam (UF) def. (4) Maytin/Peers (BU) – 8-6 (:53)
2 – *Bangoura/Butz (UF) def. Ramirez/Rux (BU) – 9-7 (1;14)
3 – Bley/Grangeiro (BU) def. Federhofer/van Overbeek (UF) – 8-5 (:56)
Order of Finish: 1-3-2
1 – (4) Alexandre Lacroix (UF) def. Jordan Rux (BU) – 7-6(7), 6-1 (1:34)
2 – (22) John Peers (BU) def. (28) Sekou Bangoura Jr. (UF) – 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 (1:44)
3 – (52) Bob van Overbeek (UF) def. Sergio Ramirez (BU) – 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 (1:57)
4 – Nassim Slilam (UF) def. Roberto Maytin (BU) – 7-6(2), 6-2 (1:16)
5 – Luis Grangeiro (BU) def. Billy Federhofer (UF) – 1-6, 7-6(2), (10-7) (1:51)
6 – *Andrew Butz (UF) def. Julian Bley (BU) – 6-4, 6-3 (1:36)
Order of Finish: 4-1-6-2-5-3