Florida routs Baylor to advance to final four of NCAA men’s tennis tourney

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Florida's McClain Kessler, left, and Johannes Ingildsen. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun/File]

Special to Gatorsports.com

ORLANDO — No. 3 seed Florida routed No. 6 Baylor 4-0 Thursday to advance to the final four of the NCAA men’s tennis tournament at the USTA National Campus.

Florida (25-3) will play No. 2 seed Texas (27-3) at 12 p.m. Saturday in one national semifinal, while No. 4 seed Wake Forest and No. 9 North Carolina play in the other semis at 4 p.m. The Tennis Channel is providing coverage.

“We haven’t played (Florida) in a couple of years,” Texas interim coach Bruce Berque said. “I know they’re very well coached and they have a great team.”

The semifinal winners play for the national championship at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Florida jumped to a quick 1-0 lead over the Bears by winning the doubles point behind the play of Johannes Ingildsen-McClain Kessler and Oliver Crawford-Alfredo Perez.

Then the Gators stormed through the singles competition in straight sets, with Sam Riffice on Court 2, Andy Andrade on Court 5 and Kessler on Court 6 cruising to put UF in its third national semis in program history (the last coming in 2005).

In earlier quarterfinal matches Thursday, Wake Forest defeated No. 5 seed Virginia 4-2, Texas downed No. 10 seed TCU 4-1 and North Carolina upset top-seeded Ohio State 4-2.

Baylor’s season ends with a 25-6 record.