Men's Tennis
Kentucky Falls to Alabama in ITA Kickoff Regional Final

Kentucky Falls to Alabama in ITA Kickoff Regional Final

by Greg Welsh

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 10 Kentucky men’s tennis (4-1) lost its first match of the 2024 season, falling to SEC foe, Alabama (3-2) by a score of 4-2 in Saturday’s ITA Kickoff Weekend Regional Final inside the Boone Tennis Center.

After dropping the doubles’ point, the Wildcats were unable to recover, ultimately losing a trio of decisive third sets on the top three singles courts.

The Crimson Tide struck first, winning 6-4 at both second and third doubles. The result drops the Wildcats to 3-2 in doubles’ points this year.

Kentucky seemed to turn momentum as the top four singles matches began, taking three of the four opening sets. Only Jack Loutit was able to finish off a straight-set victory, however, as the freshman earned a smooth, 6-3, 6-3 win over Alabama’s Andrii Zimnokh to even the match score at one.

The top three singles courts all went the distance. No. 35 Filip Planisek earned a break at 5-5 in the third to upend UK’s Josh Lapadat, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, before No. 76 Matias Ponce de Leon followed for the Crimson Tide with a comeback victory of his own over Jaden Weekes at third singles, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2.

With the score 3-1, Kentucky’s Charlelie Cosnet sprinted through his match at fifth singles, defeating Roan Jones of Alabama, 6-1, 6-1 just moments before the visitors clinched the match. At second singles, No. 51 Enzo Aguard secured the clinching win over UK’s Taha Baadi. Baadi, who dropped the first set in a tiebreak, forced a third with a 6-2 second set, but fell behind in the third, 5-1. The fifth-year battled back to 5-4, but was unable to complete the comeback and the score ended in Aguiard’s favor, 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4.

With the loss, Kentucky’s run of two-straight ITA Indoor National Championship appearances comes to an end.

The Wildcats are back at home on Friday to take on rival Louisville at the Boone Tennis Center. Play is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Admission is free for the public.

Doubles Results

  1. Mercer/Lapadat (UK) vs. Aguiard/Foster (Bama): 4-5 (unfinished)
  2. No. 25 Planinsek/Zimnokh (Bama) def. Baadi/Rankin (UK): 6-4
  3. Dimic/Jones (Bama) def. Stephenson/Weekes (UK: 6-4

Order of finish: 2, 3

Singles Results

  1. No. 35 Filip Planinsek (Bama) def. Joshua Lapadat (UK): 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
  2. No. 51 Enzo Aguiard (Bama) def. Taha Baadi (UK): 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4
  3. No. 76 Matias Ponce de Leon (Bama) def. Jaden Weekes (UK): 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2
  4. Jack Loutit (UK) def. Andrii Zimnokh (Bama): 6-3, 6-3
  5. Charlelie Cosnet (UK) def. Roan Jones (Bama): 6-1, 6-1
  6. Eli Stephenson (UK) vs. Matic Dimic (Bama): 1-0 (unfinished)

Order of finish: 4, 1, 3, 5, 2

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