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2021 Men's Tennis: Daniel Rodrigues Plays For NCAA Singles Championship


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Meant to post this yesterday, and forgot.

 

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Today at noon, the South Carolina Gamecocks Men's Tennis had their second representative play for the NCAA Men's Singles Championship in as many times the championship has been held. Sophomore Daniel Rodrigues, the #2 Seed player in the Men's Singles draw, tore through the bracket to get the Champion Match against #6 Seed Sam Riffice of the Florida Gators. Rodrgiues won the first set 6-3, but Riffice responded by taking sets 2 and 3 6-1, 6-4 to win the championship. Riffice had earlier helped his Florida Gators win the overall team Championship in the tournament: Rodriguez and South Carolina reached the Round of 16 (their Sweet Sixteen) before falling in a close match 4-3 to Texas.

Rodrigues follows former teammate Paul Jubb, who won the 2019 NCAA Singles title. The NCAA did not hold a tournament in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, so technically the Gamecocks have now placed a player in back-to-back singles championship matches. With a new indoor tennis facility in the works to be ready for next season, the Men's tennis program is looking to be on solid ground in the immediate future. Rodriguez and teammate Connor Thomson also participated in the doubles championships before falling in the first round.

Whether Daniel returns for his junior season or chooses to go professional after his stellar showing, is not determined at this time. But if he chooses to return, with the success of the team in 2020 they should be pretty strong next season. Judd attempted to play the following season after his national title, but the season was derailed by the pandemic.

Congrats to Daniel for a great Gamecock season!!

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