Men's tennis advances in tourney

Published: Friday, January 30, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 12:25 a.m.

Florida defeated No. 48 Arizona, 5-2, at Linder Stadium to advance to the Round of 32 in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The victory comes just one day after UF jumped three spots to No. 7 in the ITA team rankings.

The Gators jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after winning two of its doubles matches. Sophomore Alex Lacroix and freshman Carlos Cueto downed Arizona’s Andres Arango and Jason Zafiros, 8-3, while sophomores Johnny Hamui and Jeff Dadamo defeated Jay Goldman and Ravid Hazi, 8-4, to clinch the doubles point for UF. The No. 1 doubles team of redshirt junior Antoine Benneteau and freshman Joey Burkhardt did not finish their match against 18th-ranked Francois Van der Merwe and Pat Metham, but owned a 7-5 advantage before the match was stopped.

No. 63 Burkhardt collected the first singles win for the Gators after he defeated Hazi in straight sets, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5). Also winning in straight sets was Benneteau, who took out Arango, 6-4, 6-2 on court two.

Dadamo clinched the match for the Gators in a close victory over Metham from the No. 5 spot, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Less than one minute later, Lacroix closed the match at a 5-2 advantage. In his first dual match at the No. 1 spot, the sophomore collected a win over Goldman (6-2, 2-6, 6-3).

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