Gators Down No. 3 Texas in Austin

AUSTIN, TX — Much like Friday’s game, it all came down to the final singles competition of the day as the Florida Gators men’s tennis team edged the No. 3 Texas Longhorns, 4-3, in a an exciting Sunday afternoon match at the Texas Tennis Center.

While Texas won its doubles match on court one, the Gators needed wins on courts two and three to secure the doubles point.

In court, two were UFs Abedallah Shelbayh and Duarte Vale facing No. 13 Richard Ciamarra and Cleeve Harper. The Gators took an early 2-0 lead, before the Longhorns won the next two games to tie the game at two. Shelbayh and Vale broke Texas’ serve to regain the lead, 3-2, then won the next three games to win their match against the top 15 doubles pair.

The duet n°51 of Andy Andrade and Mattias Simar faced Micah Braswell and Chih Chi Huang on court three in what would be the deciding match for the doubles point. Florida took a 2-0 lead before Texas tied the game at 2-2. The Gators used the next two games to take a 4-2 advantage, never dropping a point in Game 6 to double the lead. After leading 5-4, the Longhorns won the next two games to lead 6-5. Andrade and Siimar didn’t back down, forcing a tiebreaker. Texas took a 4-2 lead to start the breaker, but the Gators came back to win it 7-5 and claim the doubles point.

After taking an early 1-0 over Texas, the Longhorns would come back and equalize after winning the match on court two as Vale senior fell to No. 20 Braswell, 6-2, 6-3.

The tie didn’t last long as the Gators won the next two games on courts five and six. No. 61 Siimar picked up his second win of the day with a decisive win over No. 73 Harper, 6-4, 6-4. This is his second straight game against a ranked opponent after defeating No. 33 Lui Maxted of TCU on Friday.

Florida went up 3-1 when No. 111 Josh Goodger won their match in straight sets against Huang. He easily won the first set 6-2, then won the next set in a home-and-away, 7-6(7) to extend Florida’s lead.

The Gators lost two tough games in a row as No. 107 Andrade retired against Ciaarra on court four, 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, and Texas’ Spizzirri beat Riffice on court one, 3-6, 6 -1, 6-7 (6).

That would go to No. 2 Shelton on court three. Facing Pierre-Yves Bailly, Shelton lost his first set in a difficult tie-break, 6-7 (4). He went wild afterwards – only allowing Bailly to win three games over the next two sets to win and take the game for the Gators 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1.

Florida leaves the Lone Star State with a 1-1 record and a top-five win after beating the No. 3 Longhorns. The Gators look forward to their season opener against No. 11 UCF Saturday, January 22 at 12:30 p.m. at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

Singles Results
1. Eliot Spizzirri (UT) def. Sam Riffice (UF), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (8-6)
2. #20 Micah Braswell (UT) def. Duarte Vale (UF), 6-2, 6-3
3. #2 Ben Shelton (UF) def. Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT), 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-1
4. Richard Ciamarra (UT) def. #107 Andy Andrade (UF), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
5. #61 Mattias Simar (UF) def. #73 Cleeve Harper (UT), 6-4, 6-4
6. #111 Josh Goodger (UF) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT), 6-2, 7-6 (9-7)
Finishing order: 2, 5, 6, 4, 1, 3

Duplicate results
1. #23 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (UT) def. Ben Shelton/Sam Riffice (UF), 6-2
2. Duarte Vale/Abedallah Shelbayh (UF) def. #13 Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper (UT), 6-2
3. #51 Mattias Simar/Andy Andrade (UF) def. Micah Braswell/Chih Chi Huang (UT), 7-6 (7-5)
Finishing order: 1, 2, 3

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