No. 17 Cats Stay Undefeated at Home, Beat No. 12 Rebels 5-2
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 17 Kentucky (16-6, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) extended its spring 2021 home record to 14-0 with a 5-2 win over No. 12 Ole Miss (9-9, 6-5 SEC) on Friday at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Stadium.
The Wildcats were led by strong performances from Liam Draxl and Gabriel Diallo on the top two singles courts, as each sophomore Canadian earned a victory over his nationally ranked opponent.
“It was a good win for us today against Ole Miss, who is a solid team,” Diallo said. “We started really well and just kept our foot on the gas. The aim is to position ourselves as high as we can in the rankings and build momentum, so this will help.”
Kentucky began the day by capturing the doubles point, despite the 20th-ranked pair of Diallo and César Bourgois falling 7-5 to No. 1 Tim Sandkaulen and Finn Reynolds after getting off to a hot start on the top court.
Diallo—rated the No. 31 singles player in college tennis—realized swift revenge when play broke out individually, cruising to a 6-2, 6-4 win over the 55th-ranked Sandkaulen and pushing the Kentucky lead to 2-0.
No. 97 Joshua Lapadat defeated Lukas Engelhardt 6-4, 6-1 on court five before his doubles partner Alexandre LeBlanc fell on the No. 6 singles court, setting up Bourgois for the potential clincher on court four.
Bourgois stormed back in the third set, defeating John Hallquist Lithen 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and sealing the win for the Wildcats.
With the Cats already ahead 4-1, the seventh-ranked Draxl added perhaps the most impressive result of the evening with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over the 11th-ranked Reynolds from the No. 1 spot for good measure.
Despite winning more games overall, No. 60 Millen Hurrion fell 7-6 (12-10), 2-6, 1-0 (10-8) to No. 32 Nikola Slavic to complete the match.
Kentucky will conclude the regular season with its home win streak on the line against No. 16 Mississippi State (15-7, 5-6 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The contest will serve as Kentucky’s annual senior day in honor of Bourgois.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter and Facebook, @kentuckymenstennis on Instagram, and on the web at UKAthletics.com.
#17 Kentucky 5, #12 Ole Miss 2
1.#7 Liam Draxl (UK) def. #11 Finn Reynolds (UM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2.#31 Gabriel Diallo (UK) def. #55 Tim Sandkaulen (UM) 6-2, 6-4
3.#32 Nikola Slavic (UM) def. #60 Millen Hurrion (UK) 7-6 (12-10), 2-6, 1-0 (10-8)
4.César Bourgois (UK) def. John Hallquist Lithen (UM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5.#97 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Lukas Engelhardt (UM) 6-4, 6-1
6.Simon Junk (UM) def. Alexandre LeBlanc (UK) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
1.#1 Tim Sandkaulen/Finn Reynolds (UM) def. #20 César Bourgois/Gabriel Diallo (UK) 7-5
2.Millen Hurrion/Liam Draxl (UK) def. Simon Junk/Brady Draheim (UM) 6-4
3.Alexandre LeBlanc/Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Nikola Slavic/Jakob Cadonau (UM) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,5,6,4,1,3)
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