The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Florida Wins 2021 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship

23 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

ORLANDO -- The wait is over.

The Gators men's tennis team claimed the program's first national title on Saturday night, defeating Baylor 4-1 in the NCAA Championship at the USTA National Campus. The fourth time was the charm for Florida, which in three previous trips to the Final Four, lost in the national semifinals.

However, after sweeping Texas on Friday to advance to Saturday's championship, the No. 1-seed Gators (25-2) refused to lose, despite dropping the doubles point to the second-seed Bears (34-5) late Saturday night. The match started around 10 p.m. ET following a four-hour women's championship in which Texas defeated Pepperdine.

When freshman Ben Shelton capped Florida's victory with a clinching win over Charlie Broom at No. 5 singles, it was about 10 minutes after midnight.

Shelton's father, Gators head coach Bryan Shelton, didn't mind the Gators keeping him up late. Shelton became the first head coach in college tennis history to win a women's national title (2007 at Georgia Tech) and a men's national championship.

"Trying to make me cry. Yeah, it's special,'' Shelton said of his son clinching the win during his on-court interview after the match. "I've got 10 guys over there. Ten guys that came out every day and worked. I'm just really proud of you guys and what you've done."

The Gators got singles wins from Ben Shelton, Andy Andrade, Sam Riffice and Josh Goodger to storm back after the Bears gained the early momentum.

Shelton needed time to collect his thoughts afterward. In his ninth season in charge of the program, the Gators stood at the top, a place they had never been since the program's inception in 1940.

"Pretty speechless tonight. Normally I have a lot of words,'' Shelton said. "To see these guys here and see what they have gone through in the last year, year and a half ... and come together tonight and compete and put it out on the line, it's truly special."


DOUBLES RESULTS: 2, 3, 1

1. Sven Lah/Constantin Frantzen (BU) def. Duarte Vale/Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 6-2
2. Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton (UF) def. Matias Soto/Nick Stachowiak (BU) 6-0
3. Finn Bass/Charlie Broom (BU) def. Will Grant/Brian Berdusco (UF) 6-1

SINGLES RESULTS: 3, 2, 6, 5

1. Duarte Vale (UF) vs. Adrian Boitan (BU) 5-7, 3-4 *unfinished*
2. Sam Riffice (UF) def. Matias Soto (BU) 7-5, 6-3
3. Andy Andrade (UF) def. Sven Lah (BU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-0
4. Blaise Bicknell (UF) vs. Nick Stachowiak (BU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-1 *unfinished*
5. Ben Shelton (UF) def. Charlie Broom (BU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
6. Josh Goodger (UF) def. Spencer Furman (BU) 6-3, 7-5


NOTABLES

  • Florida is one of two programs to win at least one national team title in each fully contested season since 2008-09. This is Florida's 21st national title in that span. Florida's 21 titles since is third (Stanford: 33; Southern Cal 23)
  • Men's Tennis is the sixth Gator program to claim its first NCAA team title in the last 12 seasons (baseball, gymnastics, softball, men's tennis, men's indoor track & field, men's outdoor track & field)
  • This is the 42nd national title for the Gator program
  • Men's Tennis is the 15th Gator sport to win a national title. That is the nation's fourth highest array of sport titles for a program (and highest east of Mississippi). Florida's 14 leads Southeastern Conference programs (Georgia is second with national titles in 10 NCAA sanctioned sports)
  • Bryan Shelton is the 24th coach across all NCAA sports to lead two different programs to a national team title. Of those 24, Shelton is the fifth to coach a national championship team in a men's AND women's sport
  • Bryan Shelton is the 24th coach across all NCAA sports to lead two different programs to a national team title. Of those 24, Shelton is the fifth to coach a national championship team in a men's AND women's sport
  • This is Florida's first appearance in the final of the NCAA Tournament, winning its first Final Four match in school history on Friday (1-3 in Final Four)
  • Florida is one of six programs to win NCAA team titles in men's & women's tennis, joining Georgia, UCLA, Southern California, Stanford and Texas. Bryan Shelton is the fifth coach to win an NCAA title in a men's and women's sport at two different schools Florida's 25 wins match the most under Bryan Shelton (25 in 2019) and is tied for the second most in school history (25 in 1975, 2003, 2019). The most is 28 in 2000 under Ian Duvenhage
  • Blaise Bicknell, whose match at No. 4 singles went unfinished, became the fourth player in school history to go undefeated in dual matches (min. of 20 matches played). Jim Oescher (27-0, 1975), Armistead Neely (24-0, 1968) and Kevin Cook (20-0, 1976) are the other three. Bicknell is also 30-0 in his career in dual matches (7-0 last season)
  • Bryan Shelton has 397 career wins at Georgia Tech (W) and Florida (M). He has 170 wins at Florida