Florida women’s tennis returns to national championship on Tuesday

By Adam Silverstein
May 23, 2017
Florida women’s tennis returns to national championship on Tuesday
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Image Credit: UAA

Women’s tennis will give the Florida Gators athletic program its best shot at a national championship in the 2016-17 season when it competes against the Stanford Cardinal in the finals of the 2017 NCAA Championships on Tuesday night.

Florida earned its way to the finals by taking down the Vanderbilt Commodores 4-2, avenging a pair of regular-season losses to its SEC East rival.

It will be the first time since 2012 and 14th time in program history that the Gators will be competing for a national championship in women’s tennis. Florida played in the title game from 2010-12, clinching back-to-back crowns in 2011-12, but has failed to reach the final game since.

UF won the doubles point to open Monday’s match against Vandy but fell behind 2-1 after a pair of singles victories by the Commodores.

No. 44 junior Anna Danilina took down Emma Kurtz (6-3, 4-6, 6-2) to tie the match, No. 6 senior Belinda Woolcock came back from a first-set loss to beat No. 4 Astra Sharma (6-7[3], 6-2, 6-0) on Court 1, and junior Brooke Austin beat Georgina Sellyn (6-2, 6-3) to clinch the victory for the Gators.

Florida and Stanford have met nine prior times with a national title on the line with the Gators holding a 3-6 mark against the Cardinal in such matches. Stanford won in 1988, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2010, while Florida took head-to-head victories in 1996, 2003 and 2011.

The Gators (six) and Cardinal (18) have combined for 24 of the 35 Division I women’s tennis championships and no program besides them has won more than two titles.

It will all go down live on ESPNU on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

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