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UF’s Ben Shelton to play for NCAA tennis singles title; Gator Sam Riffice eliminated in semis

A Gator will play for the men’s individual crown for the second straight year
UF sophomore and Gainesville native to play for title
UF sophomore and Gainesville native to play for title(WCJB)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCJB) -Gator tennis player Ben Shelton is making his first appearance in the NCAA tournament singles draw one to remember. Shelton advanced to the finals on Friday with a dramatic semifinal win over Tennessee’s Adam Walton, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5. Shelton, a Florida sophomore, is a Gainesville native (Buchholz H.S.) and son of Florida coach Bryan Shelton.

Shelton trailed Walton 2-4 in the third set but rallied to claim his 36th singles win of the year. He has dropped just one set in his run to the finals.

It will not be an all-UF battle in the championship match, however. Fellow Gator Sam Riffice, the 2021 singles champion, was eliminated in the semifinals with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 loss to August Holmgren of San Diego. Riffice ends his career as one of the Gators’ all-time greats, with an individual and a team national title. This season, he went 17-2 in singles play and went 12-0 in SEC play. Florida was the only school to qualify two players for the quarterfinal round or later.

Shelton and Holmgren face off for the championship at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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