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UF Men’s Tennis: Crawford Named Division I UTR/ITA National Player of the Week

Crawford ranks 10th in the nation in singles and 19th in the nation in doubles alongside Sam Riffice.
Photo by Courtney Culbreath

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

Junior co-captain Oliver Crawford claims National Player of the Week honors after a flawless weekend in singles and doubles to open conference play.

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced its weekly National Player of the Week honors on Tuesday evening, as junior co-captain Oliver Crawford was named the Division I UTR/ITA Male Player of the Week after going undefeated at the top spot in singles and doubles through all three matches this past weekend.

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Crawford, a native of Spartanburg, S.C., blazed through his singles matches over the weekend, winning all three in straight sets, while additionally adding a pair of top-50 nationally-ranked wins to his resume. The Gators kicked off the weekend by opening the Southeastern Conference slate with then-No. 27 Alabama on Friday night, as Crawford dominated No. 80 Edson Ortiz in No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-1. Crawford, then ranked 18th in the nation in singles, piled on a pair of wins in Sunday’s doubleheader against Auburn and Mercer, corralling a 6-2, 6-4 effort over Auburn’s Tim Dollman prior to capping his singles performance on the weekend with a strong 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Mercer’s No. 46 Oliver Stuart.

Crawford has a three-match win streak and sits at 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the SEC in singles. Additionally, six of his seven wins on the year have come over top-80 nationally-ranked opponents.

Crawford also recorded a pair of wins in doubles alongside co-captain Sam Riffice, as the Gators’ No. 1 tandem – then ranked 14th nationally – picked up their first two conference wins of the season soundly over Alabama’s Patrick Kaukovalta/Alexey Nesterov and Auburn’s Tom Wright/Finn Murgett, 6-3 each, on Friday and Sunday respectively. The victories move the pair to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in conference.

Crawford holds a Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) of 14.19, which ranks third in his class and 12th nationally. Crawford’s performance on the weekend has also vaulted him into the top 10 of the ITA Individual National rankings, currently slotted at No. 10, while also ranking within the top 20 of the National Doubles rankings alongside Riffice at No. 19.

No. 6 Florida (14-2, 2-0 SEC) is back in action this weekend for a crucial SEC road trip, traveling to face No. 44 LSU (9-3, 1-1 SEC) in Baton Rouge, La. on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, followed by a 2 p.m. ET matchup with No. 12 Texas A&M (9-3, 2-0 SEC) in College Station, Texas.