NCAA tennis singles: Riffice downs No. 1 seed to advance to title match

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida's Sam Riffice reacts Thursday after winning his men's singles match at the NCAA D1 Tennis Championships at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

ORLANDO — Florida’s Sam Riffice, the six seed, advanced to the final of the NCAA Singles Tennis Tournament after a 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-1 victory over No. 1-seeded Liam Draxl of Kentucky on Thursday at the USTA National Campus.

Riffice, the Gator captain, set himself up for an all-Southeastern Conference title matchup with No. 2-seeded Daniel Rodrigues of South Carolina at noon ET Friday.

Fresh off winning the men's team championship with Florida, Riffice is looking to become only the third Gator in school history to win an individual national championship in singles. Mark Merklein (1994) and Jeff Morrison (1999) were the other two winners.

“It's incredible. I mean, it's really incredible," Riffice said. "There's so many good players in college tennis, especially this year I feel like the draw was so deep with some of the fifth-years and some of those guys. To be able to be in the finals, it's a huge accomplishment for me.”