Gators enter season ranked No. 1 in Oracle/ITA poll

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Florida men's tennis coach Bryan Shelton, right, and Oliver Crawford helped the Gators to a share of the SEC title Sunday. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun/File]

Special to Gatorsports.com

The Florida men’s tennis team will open the 2020 campaign as the top nationally ranked team in the country, slotted at No. 1 in the Oracle/ITA Preseason Rankings announced Wednesday.

The Gators notched their highest preseason ranking since opening the 2006 season ranked second. Florida has pushed their streak of ranking in the Top 25 of the Oracle/ITA Preseason Rankings to 18 consecutive years now.

During the 2019 season, Florida reached the final four prior to falling to reigning national champions, Texas. The Gators went 25-4 during the year, including 22 wins over ranked opponents, while claiming the SEC regular season crown with an undefeated conference record of 12-0. The Gators were ranked No. 4 in the year end Oracle/ITA rankings from 2018-19.

During the 2020 season, Florida faces seven teams ranked inside the Top 25.

No. 1 Florida opens the season Saturday, as the Gators welcome Furman and FAU to the Alfred A. Ring Complex for a pair of doubleheaders slated for 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

RANK            TEAM                        2018-19 YEAR END RANK
1                      Florida (5)                              4
2                      Texas (4)                                 1
3                      USC (3)                                   8
4                      North Carolina                       7
5                      Baylor                                     6
6                      Ohio State                               3
7                      Wake Forest                           2
8                      TCU                                        10
9                      Texas A&M                             14
10                    Virginia                                  5
11                    UCLA                                      11
12                    Stanford                                  12
13                    Illinois                                    15
14                    California                               18
15                    Oklahoma State                      22
16                    South Carolina                       19
17                    Michigan                                20
18                    Tennessee                               13
19T                  Columbia                                16
19T                  Georgia                                   21
21                    Mississippi State                     9
22                    Oklahoma                               17
23                    NC State                                 23
24                    San Diego                               25
25                    Arizona State                          24