Gators down Canes, win 5-2

After a two-week hiatus and three straight victories, No. 24 Miami fell 5-2 to seventh-ranked Florida (7-3) on Sunday afternoon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville.

Senior Daniel Vallverdu returned to the court for the first time since suffering a pectoral strain at the ITA National Indoor Championships in November, but he and sophomore Carl Sundberg lost in doubles, 8-2.

The other two Hurricane tandems lost close 9-7 affairs to start at a 1-0 disadvantage.

No. 78 Sundberg came back after losing the first set to win 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) and junior transfer David Simon held on to upset No. 64 Joey Burkhardt 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6) in Miami’s only two wins in singles play.

Sundberg improved to 6-0 on the season.

“Carl and David were able to get important wins that will only build their confidence,” head coach Mario Rincon said.

Freshman Ignacio Taboada lost his first singles match of the season, 6-4, 6-2, to No. 94 Antoine Benneteau, and the other three matches were settled in straight-sets.

“UF was ready for us today and they deserve all the credit,” Rincon said. “But we have identified things that we need to do better as a team that will give us a chance against the best teams in the country. We will continue to work hard and improve.”

Miami (4-3) returns to action to face No. 16 Florida State (10-4) at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee.