No. 9 UF Men’s Tennis Downs No. 7 Baylor, 5-2

By: UF Sports Communications
By: UF Sports Communications

Gainesville, FL - 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.

“It was a very good early-season win for us,” head coach Andy
Jackson said. “We like to play Baylor because they want what we want,
and that’s to be good in the end of the season. The earlier we get
started, the better. Players like to play the best players. It might not
always work out like it did today, but even when you’re on the other
end, the same principle applies.”

No. 11 Alexandre Lacroix (Paris, France) and Nassim Slilam (Paris,
France) 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.
(Bradenton, Fla.) and Andrew Butz (Vero Beach, Fla.) 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.

“I was a little bit nervous early and trying to find my game, but I
got settled in even in the first set and was able to come back,”
Lacroix said.

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.

“I didn’t really know the situation at the time because Coach
teaches us to just focus on what’s happening on our court,” Butz
said. “You can kind of tell by the crowd, but at first I didn’t know
that it had clinched for us.”

The Gators got their fifth point from Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton,
Fla.), 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
(North Miami, Fla.) 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.

Florida is back in action on Friday at 10 a.m. as the team hosts the
ITA Kick-Off Weekend. UF will play UC-Santa Barbara before Troy and
North Carolina State square off at 1 p.m. The tournament will conclude
on Saturday with the consolation at 10 a.m. and the championship at 1
p.m. The winner of the event will play in February’s ITA National Team
Indoor Championships in Seattle.

#9 Florida vs. #7 Baylor
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex
Gainesville, Fla.
Jan. 23, 2011

Doubles
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

Singles
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


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