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Chomps and chops: tennis to fight FSU

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Two bitter in-state enemies will battle it out in court and brag for another year.

The Gators and FSU Seminoles were scheduled to meet in person in Tallahassee on Jan. 31. But the match was postponed the night before due to COVID-19 protocols within the program. Almost two months later, the recordings of both programs were diverted in opposite directions.

Below average season for FSU (5-10)

The unranked Seminoles got off to a hot start in 2021 after a three-game win over North Florida, Mercer and South Alabama. But as a house of cards, a loss without a loss to Georgia crumbled the structure, and the Noles haven’t been built since.

Florida State claims just two wins in their last 11 matchups and remains winless against ACC opponents. FSU tomahawked Tennessee Tech in their doubleheader February 26.

Overall, Noles’ singles and doubles have failed to live up to what the program usually boasts. Their win rate is slightly higher than 400 as the duos are at 16-22 and singles are 36-41.

Another Florida sweep?

A force to be reckoned with, the No. 2 Gators have kept their flames on fire since the postponement with 10 consecutive wins and a perfect home record (8-0).

So far in the post-pandemic campaign, the Gators have swept four opponents, three of them in the top 25 of No. 6 Texas Christian, No. 24 Miss State, and No. 14 Georgia.

While the doubles faltered for most of the season, the singles roster has consistently pulled their weight and scooped up for every win. The only time Florida fell behind in both categories was its only 3-4 loss against the Texas Longhorns on January 23.

But even in the loss, No. 68 Blaise Bicknell pulled tricks up his sleeve and beat the opponent to add to a remarkable unbeaten streak that goes back to the 2020 season.

Team captain Sam Riffice is fresh off a two-set win (6-1, 6-3) over TCU’s number 21 Alastair Gray. That same day, he was awarded the title of SEC Co-Player of the Week.

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Where to look

Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex’s first serve of doubles will fly at 2:00 PM on Sunday. The action will be streamed live with statistics at FloridaGators.com.

Please contact Jesse Richardson at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ JesseRich352

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