Men's Tennis Concludes Homestand with Miami Sunday Afternoon

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO – With more than half of a century of performances preceding the 2024 squad, the UCF men’s tennis team will look to make history Sunday afternoon as it welcomes Miami to cap off a five-match homestand at the USTA National Campus. The first serve is set for noon.

A resounding 4-0 triumph versus Florida Atlantic Thursday evening propelled the Knights to their first 6-0 start since 1980. For head coach Lloyd Bruce-Burgess, his first year at the helm has gotten off to a flying start as he became the first coach in program history to begin his tenure with six straight victories.

The England native has immediately instilled a new identity into the team as it continues to prove itself with each coming match and each eventual win. The source of UCF’s success has come through dominating singles play, headlined by a plethora of undefeated Knights.

In six matches, the Black and Gold have dropped just two courts in singles and are currently riding a 16-0 stretch over their last three contests. Moreover, the Knights have not lost on the back three courts thus far, compiling a combined 17-0 record.

Eight Knights have gotten into the win column through the stretch, headlined by No. 100 Lleyton Cronje and No. 120 Mehdi Benchakroun who are both 5-0 after going unfinished against FAU on Thursday.

In doubles, a few changes from Bruce-Burgess have paid dividends, as UCF has erased an opening four-match losing streak with two resounding performances against FGCU and FAU. Against the latter, Yassine Dlimi and Paul Colin, playing on court one together for the first time took care of business, 6-3, while Toto Llanes and Santiago Giamichelle followed suit with a 6-1 triumph.


With a 1-0 lead heading into singles against the Owls, the Knights took five of six first sets to move into a great position throughout. Colin, playing in his second singles match of the season, secured the second point for the Knights with a 6-1, 6-3, showing on court six.

A first-set sweep for Llanes led to his fifth win in a row following a 6-0, 6-4, result on court three. Giamichelle has been firing on all cylinders during his first months in Orlando and stayed undefeated with a 6-4, 6-4, triumph on court four to clinch the match.


The Florida foes will meet once again on Sunday, as the Hurricanes will make the short trip north on the heels of two wins versus current American Athletic Conference contenders. Following its first loss of the season to No. 13 Arizona at ITA Kickoff Weekend, Miami bested Tulane and South Florida, 4-3.

Before a 4-0 defeat in Miami a season ago, the Knights accumulated a three-match winning streak over the Hurricanes from 2018-21. The two programs will meet for the 21st time tomorrow as UCF will look to secure its best start in program history.