Men's Tennis

Gabriel Diallo, Liam Draxl Named ITA All-Americans for Singles

by Ryan Cullinane

TEMPE, Az. – Kentucky juniors Gabriel Diallo and Liam Draxl have been named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association 2022 All-American Team for singles, as announced by the ITA on Monday. This marks the second time that both athletes have received the honors, previously earned it in 2021.

Draxl earned his All-American selection by being named a top-16 seed in the NCAA Singles Tournament, while Diallo received his through advancing to the Sweet 16 in the event.

Athletes can also earn the distinction by finishing in the top-20 of the ITA singles rankings, which both Diallo and Draxl accomplished, slotting as No. 6 and 8, respectively. This marked the first time in program history the Wildcats had two athletes finished inside the top-10 of the singles rankings.

The 2021 ITA Player of the Year Liam Draxl followed up his historic sophomore campaign with an impressive junior season, leading the team in ranked wins with 10. The Newmarket, Ontario native anchored UK’s top position and earned 16 wins on the year, half of which came during conference play.

Draxl peaked in the ITA singles rankings at No. 4, was named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team and All-NCAA Tournament. His best win came against Ohio State’s Cannon Kingsley in a three-set thriller which clinched UK’s spot in the title match.

Diallo’s junior season was his most accomplished yet. He led the team in wins with a staggering 38-8 record in singles on the year and was named to both the All-SEC First Team and SEC Tournament Team. Diallo held his highest position in the singles rankings at No. 4 and his best finish at No. 8.

A native to Montreal, Diallo split time between courts two and three, compiling a 21-4 record in dual matches. He finished with seven match-clinching points, including one against TCU’s Juan Carlos Aguilar to put Kentucky in its first Final Four in program history. In the individual NCAA Tournament, Diallo took down two ranked opponents en route to his first Elite Eight appearance.

Diallo ended his year with the most wins in singles on the team, with a staggering 38-8 record. He started the team season at the three position, going 10-1, and then was moved up to court two, where he finished with an 11-3 record. He was ranked within the top-25 of the singles rankings every week throughout the season.

Kentucky concluded its season by making its first appearance in both the NCAA Tournament Final Four and National Championship match, finishing as the national runner-up.

The Wildcats finished with a 26-8 overall record, with their only losses coming to teams nationally ranked within the top 13. The school also tied for second in the Southeastern Conference standings, going 10-2 and advancing to the SEC Tournament Finals for the first time since 2012.

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 (rrcu222@uky.edu) – (859) 257-8309

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