Women's Tennis
Women’s Tennis Opens Jaudon Era with Doubleheader Sweep

Women’s Tennis Opens Jaudon Era with Doubleheader Sweep

by Ben Slack

LEXINGTON, Ky., – First-year Head Coach Shelley Jaudon opened her Kentucky career with a pair of wins, as Kentucky (2-0, 0-0 SEC) opened the 2024 campaign by sweeping a Sunday doubleheader at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. In Match 1, the Wildcats defeated ETSU (0-1, 0-0 SoCon), a 2023 NCAA Tournament participant, by a final score of 5-2. Kentucky closed the day with a 7-0 thumping of Miami (OH) (0-1, 0-0 MAC).

The Cats were paced by Junior Lidia Gonzalez, who finished the day undefeated with a pair of wins in both singles and doubles. Sophomore Zoe Hammond also turned in an undefeated day, with a pair of singles wins, as well as a victory in doubles. Freshman Julia Zhu, a Berlin, Germany native, was one of two Wildcats, alongside Ellie Myers, to win in her NCAA debut.

The day opened with the Wildcats taking on the Buccaneers of ETSU, as Kentucky started strong and claimed the season’s first doubles point. The team of Hammond/Zhu were the first team to finish, winning their No. 3 Doubles match by a dominant 6-1 scoreline. After an impressive fall slate that saw the pair earn a trip to ITA Fall Nationals in San Diego, No. 25 Ellie Eades/Lidia Gonzalez opened their spring campaign with a clinching 6-2 win at No. 2 Doubles.

With a 1-0 lead in hand, the Cats used victories on the bottom four courts to clinch the season-opening dual. Despite ETSU tying the match with a victory on Court 1, the homestanding Wildcats claimed tight, three-set battles on Courts 3 and 4 to race to a 3-1 advantage. Hammond, a sophomore from Edmond, Oklahoma, was the first Wildcat to taste a singles win, defeating her Buccaneer opposition by a final score of 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Gonzalez’s victory on Court 3 provided Kentucky with a 3-1 lead, as the junior from Madrid, Spain pulled out a gritty 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 contest.

ETSU would pull within one after Eades lost a three-setter on Court two, but two Wildcats making their collegiate debut would secure the first win under head coach Shelley Jaudon. The match would be clinched on Court 5, as Julia Zhu dominated her first collegiate match, 6-2, 6-3. Also, playing in her first career regular-season contest, sophomore Ellie Myers padded the Kentucky score line with a 7-5, 6-3 straight-set win at No. 6 Singles.

After an hour intermission, the Wildcats would return to the court to face the RedHawks of Miami (OH). No. 25 Eades/Gonzalez claimed their second win of the day after a clinical 6-3 showing on Court 1. The highlight of the doubles action, however, occurred on Court 2 where No. 36 Makayla Mills/ Elizabeth Stevens turned an 0-5 deficit to a 7-5 victory. Their win would clinch the Doubles Point and a 1-0 lead for Kentucky.

In singles action, Kentucky continued its winning ways, racing to a clinch with wins on the top four courts. Hammond turned an 0-3 deficit into a convincing victory by rattling off 12 of the next thirteen games on Court 3. Eades would follow her teammate up with a 6-4, 6-2 victory on Court 1, the first win on the top court for the junior. Mills, a senior from Wilmington, N.C., would clinch the second victory of the day, winning 6-3, 6-4 on Court 4. Gonzalez would play add-on, winning her No. 2 Singles match, 6-3, 7-5. Maialen Morante would open up her 2024 campaign againg Miami, coming back from a set down to win No. 5 Singles in a match tiebreak. Myers would close out the day of competition with her second singles win in as many matches, cruising to a 7-5, 6-1 win.

Kentucky will wrap up its three-match, season-opening homestand on Saturday, January 20, as they take on Big Ten foe Penn State at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The clash between the Wildcats and the Nittany Lions will take place at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, with admission free to the public.


Kentucky vs. ETSU


No. 36 Mills/Stevens (UK) vs. Carvajal/Rivera (ETSU) 4-4 (unfinished)

No. 25 Eades/Gonzalez (UK) def. Caceres/Markova (ETSU) 6-2

Hammond/Zhu (UK) def. Alexandrova/Rovira (ETSU) 6-1


Markova (ETSU) def. Elizabeth Stevens (UK) 6-2, 7-5

Carvajal (ETSU) def. Ellie Eades (UK) 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3

Lidia Gonzalez (UK) def. Rivera (ETSU) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3

Zoe Hammond (UK) def. Jana Rovira (ETSU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Julia Zhu (UK) def. Caceres (ETSU) 6-2, 6-3

Ellie Myers (UK) def. Alexandrova (ETSU) 7-5, 6-3

Order of Finish:

Doubles—3, 2

Singles—1, 4, 3, 2, 5, 6

Kentucky vs. Miami (OH)


No. 25 Eades/Gonzalez (UK) def. E. Valentinsson/Zalukar (M-OH) 6-3

No. 36 Mills/Stevens (UK) def. Denysiewicz-Slowek/Joyce (M-OH) 7-5

Hammond/Zhu (UK) vs. Dev/Saravanan (M-OH) 6-5 (unfinished)


Ellie Eades (UK) def. Saravanan (M-OH) 6-4, 6-2

Lidia Gonzalez (UK) def.  Zalukar (M-OH) 6-3, 7-5

Zoe Hammond (UK) def. Denysiewicz-Slowek (M-OH) 6-4, 6-0

Makayla Mills (UK) def. E. Valentinsson (M-OH) 6-3, 6-4

Maialen Morante (UK) def. Dev (M-OH) 1-6, 6-3, [10-6]

Ellie Myers (UK) vs. L. Valentinsson (M-OH) 7-5, 6-1

Order of Finish:

Doubles—1, 2

Singles—3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 6

For the latest on UK Women’s Tennis, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKWomensTennis.

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