Gators' Sam Riffice wins NCAA tennis singles national championship

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Florida's Sam Riffice won the NCAA Men's Singles Tennis Tournament on Friday at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

ORLANDO — Florida’s Sam Riffice won the NCAA Men's Singles National Championship on Friday at the USTA National Campus.

No. 6-seeded Riffice defeated No. 2-seeded Daniel Rodrigues of South Carolina, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to earn the third singles title in program history. Previously, Mark Merklein (1994) and Jeff Morrison (1999) earned the singles trophy for the Gators.

"I feel like I did a good job of keeping my foot on the gas from the second set and didn't give him a chance to breathe," Riffice said of coming back from a set down.

The junior is the eighth player in the 21st century to earn a team and singles national championship in the same season, as UF defeated Baylor last Saturday for the team title.

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Sam Riffice of the University of Florida holds the NCAA trophy Friday after winning the men's singles finals at the D1 Tennis Championships at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

Riffice completes his season with a 32-7 overall record in singles and also downed the No. 1 and No. 2-seeded players in consecutive days for the title.