Women's Tennis
Kentucky Women’s Tennis Inks Four in Early Signing Period

Kentucky Women’s Tennis Inks Four in Early Signing Period

by Karlie Kinneer

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s tennis has signed Yang Lee and Alexis Merrill to National Letters of Intent, and added sophomore transfer Diana Tkachenko, head coach Carlos Dradá announced Friday afternoon. Merrill, Fiquet and Yang will join the roster in the fall of 2018, while Tkachenko will arrive on campus in January.
“We are very excited about each and every one of our new recruits,” said Dradá. “I am confident that they will continue to grow and excel with our team’s guiding principles and philosophies. These recruits all know what the team’s expectations are. They know they signed to be a part of an elite program and they will be coming here to contribute and expand on our tradition of excellence.”
18456Yang Lee – Taichung, Taiwan
Dah-Chin Commercial & Industrial Vocational High School

• Left handed
• Currently trains in Switzerland
• Ranked as high as No. 37 by ITF world junior rankings
• Was ranked as high as 1,047 by WTA rankings
• Brings lots of international experience
Dradá on Lee: “Yang is a player of great skill and poise on the court. When I first saw Yang compete, I was highly impressed with her mental toughness and hunger level at such a young age. Now, her skill set has improved dramatically and I am excited to see her continued future success.”

18457Alexis Merrill – Fairfax, Va.
W.T. Woodson High School

• Five-star recruit by TennisRecruiting.net
• Right handed
• No. 63 recruit overall in class of 2018
• No. 2 recruit from Virginia
• 2017 Washington Post All-Met Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year
• 2016 and 2017 Virginia 6A singles and doubles state champion
Dradá on Merrill: “Lexi brings a lot of fire power and on-court aggressiveness, coupled with a strong desire to compete and win the right way. Lexi’s best tennis years are about to happen and we are excited they will happen at the University of Kentucky.”

18542Tiphanie Fiquet – Rouen, France
National Centre for Distance Education (CNED)
• Trains in France and Spain
• Has a -15 ranking in France
• Ranked No. 1,293 by WTA Rankings
• Right handed
Dradá on Fiquet: “We are very excited to add Tiphanie to our fall class of 2018. She is an incredibly hard worker with a lot of variety, something that will bring depth to our lineup. She has been training with the same coach for over 10 years and that was something that really impressed us. It means she listens and understands what her coaches want to implement into her game. We are certain that she will bring a lot of energy, talent and most important work ethic to our program.”

18458Diana Tkachenko – Moscow, Russia
UGRA Boarding School of Olympic Reserve/University of Evansville

• 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year
• Recorded 33-8 singles record at Evansville in 2016-17
• Ranked No. 20 in Ohio Valley Region in 2017
• Was ranked as high as No. 1,611 by ITF
• Right handed
Dradá on Tkachenko: “Diana is a player of high-level athleticism and hunger. I am excited to see her thrive under our high-level environment. Because of her mental toughness, I see no limits in her future accomplishments.”

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKWomensTennis and on the web at UKathletics.com

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