TUCSALOOSA--The second-seeded University of Florida men’s tennis team was eliminated in the semifinals of the SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament by No. 3 seed Ole Miss, 4-2, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Gators dropped to 15-7 on the year while the Rebels improved to 20-4 overall.
Florida, which made its fourth straight appearance in the semifinals and tenth overall, awaits the announcement of the NCAA team draw which will be revealed on Wednesday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNews. The Gators enter the event winners of six of their last seven matches.
The match proved to be a competitive one before Ole Miss’ Jakob Klaeson fought off UF’s Ryan Sherry on court six. The Rebels led the match 3-2 and Klaeson had built a 6-1, 5-2 lead. Sherry reeled off wins in three straight games to even the second set before Klaeson slipped past the UF senior 6-1, 7-5. The win came with only one other match in play where UF’s Greg Ouellette (No. 34) was leading No. 43 Eric Claesson on court two, 6-2, 5-2.
Florida fought for the doubles point, but Ole Miss got the early 1-0 lead with wins on courts one and three. Erling Tveit and Claesson (No. 8) defeated Florida’s Vladimir Obradovic and Stefan Tell, 8-3, at the top of the order before Robbye Poole and Klaeson clinched it with an 8-4 showing against UF’s Nestor Briceno and Janne Holmia in just over an hour.
In singles play, Bram ten Berge (No. 122) extended the Rebel lead by bringing Briceno’s (No. 52) three match win streak to a close on court three (6-3, 6-1).
Obradovic (No. 69) put the Gators on the board as he posted an impressive 6-1, 6-2 victory over Tveit (No. 22) on the top court. Obradovic has won in each of his last three outings and six of his last seven. Tveit was the second highest ranked opponent he has defeated this year and the team-leading eighth he’s won against overall.
Moments later, Brandi evened the match with a straight set win over his own over Poole on court five (6-1, 6-3). Brandi’s win was his seventeenth of the year, which leads all Gators.
Following Brandi’s win Ole Miss was ahead on courts four and five. Juan Pablo Di Cesare (No. 107) got the Rebels to within one of the Klaeson’s clincher by defeating Tell on court four (6-2, 6-2).
#2 seed Florida vs. #3 seed Ole Miss
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament Semifinals
No. 69 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) def. No. 22 Erling Tveit (Miss.), 6-1, 6-2
No. 34 Greg Ouellette (UF) vs. No. 43 Eric Claesson (Miss.) 6-2, 5-2 (Susp.)
No. 122 Bram ten Berge (Miss.) def. No. 52 Nestor Briceno (UF), 6-3, 6-1
No. 107 Juan Pablo Di Cesare (Miss.) def. Stefan Tell (UF), 6-2, 6-2
Chris Brandi (UF) def. Robbye Poole (Miss.), 6-1, 6-3
Jakob Klaeson (Miss.) def. Ryan Sherry (UF), 6-1, 7-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 5, 4, 6
No. 8 Erling Tveit/Eric Claesson (Miss.) def. Vladimir Obradovic/Stefan Tell (UF), 8-3
Chris Brandi/Greg Ouellette vs. Bram ten Berge/Juan Pablo Di Cesare (Miss.), 6-7 (Susp.)
Robbye Poole/Jakob Klaeson (Miss.) def. Nestor Briceno/Janne Holmia (UF), 8-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3