The No. 1 Florida Gators won the program’s first men’s tennis national championship, defeating No. 2 Baylor, 4-1.
Baylor quickly won the doubles point to take a 1-0 and proceeded to win three of the opening singles sets to put the Bears in good position.
From there, it was all Florida as Andy Andrade on Court No. 3, Sam Riffice on Court No. 2 and Josh Goodger on Court No. 6 all secured two-set wins in a matter of minutes of each other to suddenly give Florida a 3-1 lead and on the verge of a national title.
“That’s what makes our job so easy, is that you know, you’re able to go out there and play freely and you know that every single person is going to come through with the competitiveness and the high level to be able to have an opportunity to win,” said Florida Senior Duarte Vale about the confidence he has in his teammates. “And, you know, at the end of the day, you know, that you’re in a good place to get four points on the board, some way or another. And to me, that’s just. And so it’s inspiring to just keep fighting and keep digging, keep trying to find the higher level. So, I mean, all our guys are absolutely incredible.”
On Court No. 5, Ben Shelton, the son of Head Coach Bryan Shelton, finished off a three-set win to complete a storybook ending to hand the Gators their first national championship.
“We’ve got a very, very special team for him to be a major part of that,” said Florida Head Coach Bryan Shelton about his son, Ben, clinching the match. “It’s really, really cool to see him shine in the biggest on the biggest stage under the lights tonight here at the USTA national campus. Just really, really proud of him. Proud of our guys.”
Men’s All-Tournament Team
No. 1 Singles: Adam Walton, Tennessee
No. 2 Singles: Sam Riffice, Florida
No. 3 Singles: Andy Andrade, Florida
No. 4 Singles: Blaise Bicknell, Florida
No. 5 Singles: Ben Shelton, Florida (Most Outstanding Player)
No. 6 Singles: Josh Goodger, Florida
No. 1 Doubles: Adam Walton/Pat Harper, Tennessee
No. 2 Doubles: Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton, Florida
No. 3 Doubles: Charlie Broom/Finn Bass, Baylor