Men's Tennis
Wildcats Sweep ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships

Wildcats Sweep ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships

by Connor Link

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It was a historically dominant performance across the board for the Kentucky Wildcats at the 2021 ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships.
Two-time ITA All-American Gabriel Diallo was crowned champion of the singles tournament, while Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer earned the competition’s doubles crown.
Diallo and his Kentucky teammate Francois Musitelli—who faced off in Monday’s singles final—each secured a spot in the singles portion of the ITA National Fall Championships on Nov. 4-7 in San Diego, where Lapadat and Mercer are scheduled to compete in doubles play.
Diallo’s victory was the fourth ITA Ohio Valley Regional Singles Championship in school history. Former teammates Eric Quigley (2009, 2010) and Alex Musialek (2011) claimed the Ohio Valley Region’s first three singles titles following the sport’s regional realignment of 2009.
Lapadat and Mercer’s ITA Ohio Valley Regional Doubles Championship is the first of its kind in program history.
In addition to the Wildcats’ two championships in Monday’s main draw, Kentucky’s Jonathan Sorbo was crowned champion of the singles consolation bracket. In all, the Cats combined for a 34-7 (.829) record over the five-day event featuring entrants from 22 teams across the region.
Diallo’s top-seeded run to the last man standing in the 128-player singles tournament included three wins over No. 9 seeds and two over No. 16 seeds. Three of the last four players alive were in Kentucky blue, with the ninth-seeded Musitelli defeating the fifth-seeded Lapadat 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals.
The ninth-seeded Lapadat and Mercer recorded wins against Nos. 2, 3 and 9 seeds on the path to doubles glory in the 64-team tournament.
After dropping his first-round match in the main singles draw, Sorbo caught fire for six straight victories in the 64-participant consolation contest. Ninth-seeded doubles team Alexandre LeBlanc and Ying-Ze Chen won three matches in the 64-pair consolation bracket before dropping an 8-7(4) tiebreaker to eventual champion and fellow No. 9 seed Shunsuke Mitsui and Angel Diaz of host Tennessee.
Next, Kentucky will take a weeklong hiatus from the court before returning for the ITA All-American Championships on Oct. 4-10 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter and Facebook, @kentuckymenstennis on Instagram, and on the web at
First Round
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. Abe Wojtalik (Ball State) 6-1, 6-1
#16 JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. Kerim Hyatt (Chattanooga) 6-3, 6-2
#16 Patrick Fletchall (Indiana) def. Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) 6-4, 6-4
#5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) def. Thomas Brennan (Butler) 6-4, 6-3
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. Kyle Tang (Louisville) 6-3, 6-2
Alexandre LeBlanc (Kentucky) def. Gonzalo Garcia-Nieto (Lipscomb) 6-3, 6-4
Second Round
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. Emil Jankowski (IUPUI) 6-2, 6-2
Pau Fanlo (Memphis) def. #16 JJ Mercer (Kentucky) 6-2, 6-1
#5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) def. Kamil Kozerski (IUPUI) 6-2, 6-1
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. Taisei Miyamoto (Belmont) 6-2, 6-3
Evzen Holis (Tennessee Tech) def. Alexandre LeBlanc (Kentucky) 6-3, 6-0
Third Round
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. #16 Rafael Tosetto (Tennessee Tech) 6-3, 6-4
#5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) def. Conor Gannon (Tennessee) 6-0, 6-2
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. #16 Jeremy Taylor (Memphis) 7-6(6), 6-2
Fourth Round
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. #16 Angel Diaz (Tennessee) 6-3, 6-4
#5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) def. Diego Nava (Xavier) 6-2, 6-3
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. Macsen Sisam (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-0
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. #9 Joubert Klopper (Vanderbilt) 7-5, 6-2
#5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) def. #9 Stijn Slump (Middle Tennessee) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. Evzen Holis (Tennessee Tech) 6-1, 6-4
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. #9 Shunsuke Mitsui (Tennessee) 7-6(4), 6-1
#9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) def. #5 Joshua Lapadat (Kentucky) 6-4, 6-3
#1 Gabriel Diallo (Kentucky) def. #9 Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) 6-1, 6-2
First Round
Sam Fischer/Jake Penny (Lipscomb) def. #4 Gabriel Diallo/Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) 8-6
Jeremy Taylor/Pau Fanlo (Memphis) def. #9 Alexandre LeBlanc/Ying-Ze Chen (Kentucky) 8-2
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. Rohan Sachdev/Tomasz Dudek (Purdue) 8-3
Second Round
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. Yusuf Khamis/Francisco Lamas (East Tennessee State) 8-1
Third Round
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. #2 Max Freeman/George Harwell (Vanderbilt) 8-2
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. Carlos Vicente/Rafael Tosetto (Tennessee Tech) 8-1
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. #3 Pavel Motl/Stijn Slump (Middle Tennessee) 2-6, 7-6(5), [10-7]
#9 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (Kentucky) def. #9 Tomas Rodriguez/Peyton Gatti (Chattanooga) 6-2, 6-2
First Round
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. Vincent Knott (Northern Kentucky) 6-4, 6-1
Second Round
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. Connor Robb-Wilcox (Vanderbilt) 7-6(7), 4-6, [13-11]
Third Round
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. Vince Orlando (Ball State) 3-6, 6-3, [10-6]
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. David Mizrahi (Louisville) 6-3, 6-1
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. Vikash Singh (Indiana) 6-2, 6-2
Jonathan Sorbo (Kentucky) def. Stepan Holis (Middle Tennessee) 7-5, 6-3
First Round
Thiago Pernas/Juan Sebastian Zabala (East Tennessee State) def. #4 Gabriel Diallo/Francois Musitelli (Kentucky) Walkover
Second Round
#9 Alexandre LeBlanc/Ying-Ze Chen (Kentucky) def. Gonzalo Garcia-Nieto/Pedro Uribe (Lipscomb) 8-7(4)
#9 Alexandre LeBlanc/Ying-Ze Chen (Kentucky) def. Brett Winters/Cambell Nakayama (Xavier) 8-5
#9 Shunsuke Mitsui/Angel Diaz (Tennessee) def. #9 Alexandre LeBlanc/Ying-Ze Chen (Kentucky) 8-7(4)

For more information contact:
Connor Link ( – (859) 257-3838

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