Eighth-Seed Kentucky Prepares for Super Regional Against No. 9 Wake Forest
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Wildcats (23-7) men’s tennis team will look to continue its historic postseason run on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex against Wake Forest (33-6) Demon Deacons in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats were awarded an opportunity to host the match after being named a top-eight overall seed. The winner of the Sweet 16 tilt between UK and the No. 9-seed Demon Deacons will head to Thursday’s quarterfinals set in Champaign, Illinois, and await the victor of the No. 1 TCU and NC State match.
Setting the stage
Kentucky enters the Super Regional after defeating DePaul by a 4-0 score this past Friday and Northwestern on Saturday by a decisive 4-2 result. UK’s 2022 Kentucky men’s tennis team returns to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014, now with a 31-30 record in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will look to make the program’s fifth Elite Eight appearance, with the last coming in 2011 when the team defeated Florida before falling to eventual champion USC.
Currently, UK is viewed as the No. 7 team on the United States Tennis Association top-25 rankings and as the No. 9 team according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings. Kentucky has been slotted inside the top-13 on the ITA rankings all season.
The Wildcats have one of the deepest lineups in recent memory, with seven different athletes being ranked in singles and four different doubles tandems ranked this year.
In the last ranking of the regular season, Liam Draxl led the way for Kentucky in singles as the fourth-ranked player in the country. Just behind him is No. 21 Gabriel Diallo, who is 32-6 this year. No. 83 Millen Hurrion and No. 113 Joshua Lapadat round out UK’s ranked singles players.
In doubles, Hurrion and Francois Musitelli take over as the team’s highest ranked pair at No. 55. Together, they have manned court one and accumulated a 5-5 record this season. No. 60 Draxl and Hurrion make their eighth appearance in the doubles rankings together this season as well.
Scouting the Demon Deacons
The ninth overall seed Wake Forest comes into its eighth Sweet 16 appearance after a 33-6 record, finishing in second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings at 11-1. The Demon Deacons went undefeated at home, winning all 26 of their matches at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. All six losses came away from their home facility, going 5-4 on the road and 2-2 in neutral site matches.
The team finished the season as the eighth-ranked team according to the ITA and No. 9 on USTA.
In singles, the Demon Deacons have three players ranked. No. 61 Eduardo Nava splits time between the one and two spot, but has most of his results at the two, where he holds a 7-4 record on the year. 89th-ranked Jurabek Karimov is the team’s frequent choice for court one, where he holds a 5-9 record. Wake’s highest ranked player, No. 48 Filippoo Moroni, has not played since March 6.
Wake Forest also has two pairs ranked in doubles, both with Siddhant Banthia. The higher ranked of the two is at No. 34, featuring Banthia and Jakob Schnaitter. The two have played together for most of the season, frequenting the top spot, and hold a 17-6 record, including 2-4 against ranked competition. Juan Lopez De Azcona and Banthia are No. 67 in doubles with a 5-0 record but have not played together since Feb. 6.
Tickets to the Super Regional are on sale now and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Youth and senior tickets are priced at $8, adults will be $10 per ticket and children ages two and under will receive free admission. Full-time UK students may show their valid UK student ID at the ticket trailer outside of the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on match day for a free ticket.
All seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased here.
All pre-purchased tickets will be available via Mobile Delivery. Ticket purchasers will be able to access their tickets electronically through My UK Account or the UK Athletics app after purchase using the email they purchased the tickets with. Additional mobile ticket information may be found online at UKAthletics.com/mobiletickets.
Parking will be available in the lot directly across from the tennis facility, in the E-lot and in Lot C-16 near Cliff Hagan Stadium. Additional parking can be found in the green lot of Kroger Field.
UK Athletics’ clear bag policy will also be in effect with each fan being permitted to carry one large clear bag. Non-compliant bags, empty or not, may not be carried inside. Backpacks and drawstring/cinch bags are not permitted. Additional information regarding the clear bag policy may be found online at UKAthletics.com/clearbag.
Fans should continue to check UKAthletics.com and official social media accounts for the most up-to-date information, including weather updates.
How to watch
For fans who cannot attend the match in person, TennisONE is your home for the NCAA Tournament. The TennisONE app will live stream all matches throughout the postseason, including the Super Regional matchup between Kentucky and Wake Forest. The app is free to download on the iOS and Google Play app stores and can be accessed on the web here.
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.
– GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Ryan Cullinane (firstname.lastname@example.org) – (859) 257-8309