GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men's tennis team fell on the road to the No. 1 Florida Gators by a score of 6-1 to close out the Knights' opening weekend of the 2020 season.
The match started with a tight doubles point. The Knights struck first on court two, where No. 6 Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi edged Johannes Ingildsen and Will Grant by a count of 6-4 to take the early edge in the opening segment. The Gators struck right back, claiming court three where Duarte Vale and Josh Goodger topped Alan Rubio and JanMagnus Johnson 6-3. The doubles point would come down to court one, where No. 14 Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice edged Bogdan Pavel and Trey Hilderbrand in a back and forth battle 7-5.
"Doubles was good, we had a chance to win," said UCF Director of Tennis John Roddick, "We played well in all three spots, did very well at number two in particular. If we play that double point over a couple times, we could come out on top sometimes or sometimes they could."
Florida got out to a strong start across all singles courts, winning each first set. Two UCF courts fell simultaneously in singles, as court three went to UF's No. 17 Duarte Vale as he topped Rubio 6-1, 6-2. Court six went to Florida as well as Hilderbrand was topped by Ingildsen 6-1, 6-1. The Gators would clinch the match on court one as No. 31 Crawford bested No. 22 Decamps 6-1, 6-1.
The Knights would get their lone point from No. 108 Pavel on court five over Goodger, who had the upper edge early on. Pavel fought back to win the second set, forcing a third set super tiebreaker. Pavel would go up 6-3 in the super tiebreak but saw Goodger rattle off six straight points to get to match point. Unphased, Pavel came storming back to pull ahead 10-9. Eventually Pavel would prevail 1-6, 6-3, 13-11 to move to 2-0 on the year in singles.
No. 29 Grassi Mazzuchi was in a tight match with No. 4 Riffice on court two, but saw the Gator take a narrow 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory. The final court of the day went to Florida as well; No. 72 Andrade edged Johnson on court four by a count of 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
The Knights will head across the country to the City of Angels to participate in ITA Kickoff Weekend. UCF will square off with No. 24 San Diego in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 12 p.m. ET before facing either No. 11 UCLA or San Diego State on Sunday, depending on the result of both matches.
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