UF Men's Tennis Edged By Stanford

The seventh-seeded and eighth-ranked University of Florida men's tennis team came just short in its effort to advance in the NCAA Division I Championships as the Gators were edged by Stanford in Tulsa, Okla., 4-3, in a match that came down to a decisive tiebreaker in the third set on court six that saw the Cardinal come out on top, 11-9. UF ended its season with an 18-8 record as the squad made it to the Round of 16 for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons.

Stanford improved its record to 19-7, as the Cardinal moved on to face Southern California in Sunday's quarterfinal round.

"I thought we played very good today and Stanford played just a little bit better," said UF head coach Andy Jackson. ‘I'm proud of the way our guys played today, but I have been proud of them all season. We lost five seniors off of the team from last year and we got to the Round of 16 with a real chance of going to the quarterfinals. They are coached exceptionally well. Their coach (Dick Gould who will retire from coaching following the conclusion of the 2004 season) is maybe the best of all time and it showed today. It was a good tennis match and it hurts bad to lose it, but that is sports."

Stanford claimed the doubles point, but not without a fight from Florida. UF's Vladimir Obradovic and Janne Holmia suffered an 8-5 setback on court two leaving the Gators needing wins on each of the two remaining courts. Florida's Martin Stiegwardt and Stefan Tell led 7-4 at the bottom of the lineup, however, Stanford's James Pade and James Wan reeled off four straight games of their own to take an 8-7 lead. The Stanford duo needed five match points to get the job done and give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.

Florida entered the match 3-6 on the season when losing the doubles point, while Stanford was 13-1 when taking the lead going into singles play.

Singles play began with Obradovic quickly making it a 1-1 match as he defeated Stanford's 102nd ranked James Wan, 6-0, 6-1. Wan entered the match as the Pac-10 Conference co-Newcomer of the Year and a 23-1 record before Obradovic handed the Stanford freshman the second dual match loss of his career.

The Cardinal got back on top when eighth-ranked Sam Warburg defeated Florida's 12th-ranked Hamid Mirzadeh on court one, 6-4, 6-2. One court lower in the order, Holmia (No. 76) outlasted Stanford's KC Cokery (No. 65) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to bring tie the match for the second time on the afternoon at two. The win was Holmia's fifth against a ranked opponent this season, which tied him for the second highest total on the team.

Pade got Stanford to within one of clinching the match when he came out on top of a three set match with UF's Jordan Dolberg (7-5, 1-6, 6-4) on court five. Florida's Chris Brandi brought the point total to three for each team when he took a tiebreaker in the third set over Sheng, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6.

With things evened for the third time, the match came down to court six where Florida's Ryan Sherry and Stanford's Carter Morris were locked at three each in the third set. The two would battle to a tiebreaker where Sherry jumped to a 5-3 lead, however, Morris took an 11-9 win to claim the set and the match for the Cardinal.

Florida's Hamid Mirzadeh in the NCAA singles competition, which begins on Wednesday, May 26. He will join teammate Chris Brandi in the doubles competition, which starts on Wednesday as well.

Florida Men's Tennis

NCAA Round of 16 – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Michael D. Case Tennis Center

Doubles

1. No. 41 Hamid Mirzadeh/Chris Brandi (UF) vs. No. 35 Carter Morris/Sam Warburg (Stanford) Susp.

2. No. KC Corkery/Phil Sheng (Stanford) def. Vladimir Obradovic/Janne Holmia (UF), 8-5

3. James Pade/James Wan (Stanford) def. Martin Stiegwardt/Stefan Tell (UF), 9-7

Order of Finish

Singles

1. . No. 8 Sam Warburg (Stanford) def. No. 12 Hamid Mirzadeh (UF), 6-4, 6-2

2. No. 76 Janne Holmia (UF) def. No. 65 KC Corkery (Stanford), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

3. No. 87 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) def. No. 102 James Wan (Stanford), 6-0, 6-1

4. Chris Brandi (UF) def. Phil Sheng (Stanford), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6

5. James Pade (Stanford) def. Jordan Dolberg (UF), 7-5, 1-6, 6-4

6. Carter Morris (Stanford) def. Ryan Sherry (UF), 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 (9)

Order of Finish 3, 1, 2, 5, 4, 6


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