Select Page

14 years ago Bryan Shelton won his first national title as head coach of the Georgia Tech women’s team. Saturday night Shelton added another as his Florida Gators won its first-ever NCAA Men’s Championship with his 18-year old son, Ben, providing the clincher in a 4-1 win over top-ranked and second-seeded Baylor. Shelton became the first D1 tennis coach to win both a NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championship

The evening started off on the wrong foot for the Gators after an extremely quick doubles point went to Baylor. Florida’s Sam Riffice and the aforementioned Ben Shelton needed only 21 minutes to win 6-0 at No. 2 however Baylor had big leads on the other two courts.

Baylor’s Charlie Broom and Finn Bass had a pair of match points to win 6-0 at No. 3 but despite Florida holding serve Bass would serve it out at love to complete the 6-1 win.

The match at No. 1 stayed on serve through the first three games then Baylor’s Sven Lah and Constantin Frantzen broke at love to go up 3-1. Lah and Constantin added one more break to close out the doubles point in just 27 minutes with a 6-2 win.

Each team took three opening set in singles with Florida making a late push at 2 and 3 while Baylor’s Adrian Boitan came back from 3-5 down to take the opening set at 1 by a 7-5 score.

Florida turned up the pressure in the second set and would get splits on 4 and 5 while gradually pulling away on 2, 3, and 6.

Florida senior Andy Andrade put the Gators on the board with a straight set win over Sven Lah at No. 3 singles. In the opening set, Lah broke Andrade at love to take an early 2-1 lead and then he went up 40/0 on his next service game. Andrade came back to break on the deciding point and then he held from 40/15 to go in front 3-2. It stayed on serve until Lah broke Andrade on the deciding point to go up 5-4 however Lah would be unable to serve it out and would get broke from 15/40. Andrade held from 40/15 for 6-5 and then Lah held from 40/30 to send the set to a tiebreak. Andrade led 4-2 at the changeover, and would have a set point while serving up 6-5, but Lah tied at 6-6. Andrade managed to take the next two to close out the tiebreak 8-6. Andrade dominated the second set winning all three games that went to a deciding point and then he served out the match at love to complete a 7-6, 6-0 win.

Florida would take the lead 3 minutes later after junior Sam Riffice pulled away from Matias Soto to win in straight sets at No. 2 singles. Soto jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening set but Riffice held, broke, and held to go up 3-2. Neither player would face another break point until Riffice’s 5-5 service game. After Riffice went up 40/0, Soto took the next three points to bring up a deciding point. Riffice got the point to hold and then he’d break Soto on another deciding point to take the set 7-5. There’d only be one break of serve in the second set with that coming when Riffice broke Soto on the deciding point to go up 4-2. Riffice would only drop 1 point on his next two service games to close out Soto 7-5, 6-3 in 1 hour and 34 minutes.

While Andrade and Riffice were serving for their respective matches, Florida senior Josh Goodger was serving for his match at No. 6. Goodger took the opening set over Spencer Furman after securing the lone break on Furman’s 2-3 service game. The second set only saw one break as well with Goodger breaking Furman on the deciding point to go up 6-5. Goodger fell behind 15/40 on his 6-5 service game but he came back to close it out on the deciding point to put the Gators 1 point away from the program’s first national title.

After dropping the first set at No. 5 singles to Charlie Broom, Florida freshman Ben Shelton stormed back to take the second set 6-1. In the third set, Broom won back-to-back deciding points to go up a break at 2-1 but then Shelton kicked in the after burners and started rattling off one game after another. After Shelton broke Broom for 4-2, he’d come back from 15/40 down to make it 5-2. Shelton would seal the deal with a love break and the celebration began.

[1] #2 Florida 4, [2] #1 Baylor
5/22/2021 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
Singles competition
1. #21 Adrian Boitan (BU) vs. #4 Duarte Vale (UF) 7-5, 4-3* (30/40), unfinished
2. #6 Sam Riffice (UF) def. #11 Matias Soto (BU) 7-5, 6-3
3. #18 Andy Andrade (UF) def. Sven Lah (BU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-0
4. #51 Blaise Bicknell (UF) vs. Nick Stachowiak (BU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-1* (0/30), unfinished
5.. Ben Shelton (UF) def. Charlie Broom (BU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
6. #79 Josh Goodger (UF) def. Spencer Furman (BU) 6-3, 7-5
Doubles competition
1. #9 Sven Lah/Constantin Frantzen (BU) def. Johannes Ingildsen/Duarte Vale (UF) 6-2
2. Ben Shelton/Sam Riffice (UF) def. #75 Nick Stachowiak/Matias Soto (BU) 6-0
3. Charlie Broom/Finn Bass (BU) def. Will Grant/Brian Berdusco (UF) 6-1
Match Notes:
Baylor 34-5; National ranking #1
Florida Gators 26-2; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,2,6,5)
2021 Division I NCAA Tournament – Championship Match Florida – #1 National Seed, Baylor – #2 National Seed
T-2:12 A-800

Men’s All-Tournament Team (Stats from R16 through Final)
No. 1 Singles: Adam Walton, Tennessee (2-0)
No. 2 Singles: Sam Riffice, Florida (2-0)
No. 3 Singles: Andy Andrade, Florida (3-0)
No. 4 Singles: Blaise Bicknell, Florida (3-0)
No. 5 Singles: Ben Shelton, Florida (Most Outstanding Player) (3-0)
No. 6 Singles: Josh Goodger, Florida (2-0)

No. 1 Doubles: Adam Walton/Pat Harper, Tennessee (3-0)
No. 2 Doubles: Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton, Florida (3-1)
No. 3 Doubles: Charlie Broom/Finn Bass, Baylor (4-0)