COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The University of Florida men's tennis team fought for two-plus hours and downed Kentucky, 4-2, in the second round of the SEC Tournament at the Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas on Thursday morning.
The No. 6 seed Gators will now take on No. 3 seed Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. That match is scheduled to be played tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.
UF took the lead early with dominant doubles play, as the nation's No. 50 pairing of juniors Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson clinched the doubles point for Florida with a 6-3 win at the No. 2 position. The No. 51 tandem of sophomores Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin earned the first doubles point for UF after beating UK's No. 69 team of Jerry Lopez and Nils Ellefsen by the same score.
In singles, UK won on courts one and two, while freshman Chase Perez-Blanco won the No. 4 singles match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. With the match knotted at 2-2, sophomore Maxx Lipman gave UF a 3-2 lead with a straight-set win in the No. 5 match, 6-3, 6-4.
Watson clinched the match for UF by winning two closely contested sets (7-6, 7-6) over UK's Trey Yates in the No. 3 spot.
The SEC Tournament format consists of a single-elimination tournament of six singles and three doubles. Once a team clinches the match, all play stops immediately for matches in progress. There will be no consolation matches. Singles and doubles champions shall not be named.