Men's Tennis
Freshman Eli Stephenson Clinches 4-3 Win over No. 3 Virginia

Freshman Eli Stephenson Clinches 4-3 Win over No. 3 Virginia

by Isabelle Kauffmann

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats men’s tennis team dispatched the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon, 4-3. It was the team’s first meeting since its Elite Eight matchup a season ago in the NCAA Championships.

Kentucky opened the match in doubles with a win on court one with Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer defeating Virginia’s Hopper and Graziani, 6-4. No. 3 Virginia claimed wins on courts two and three following the UK success on court one, as the Cavs took the doubles point and a 1-0 lead in the match.

After the doubles point setback, the Cats fought back to win the singles portion of the match, 4-2. The away team claimed its first singles win on court two, as Kentucky freshman Jack Loutit fell 6-3, 6-2, to UVA’s Dietrich. Soon after, on court three, sophomore Jaden Weekes, claimed his victory, winning 6-4, 6-2, followed by sophomore Charlelie Cosnet. Cosnet won his first set proving himself and later came back from a 1-3 deficit in his second set to secure the Cats second point, tying the team’s scores. Cosnet remains undefeated this season, improving his record to 6-0 in 2024.

With the match being tied at 2-2, the Cats were back squarely on level terms with the Hoos. Fifth-year Taha Baadi battled it out on court one. After losing his first set 7-5, he claimed the second set 6-3. Despite an early deficit in a back-and-forth third set, Baadi ultimately defeated his ranked opponent 7-5 in the third. With the win over No. 26 Jeffery von der Schulenburg, this is Baadi’s second-ranked singles win of the weekend. Baadi has three wins against top-30-ranked opponents, which improved his record to 3-1 against ranked opponents this season.

Eli Stephenson and Christophe Clement cruised through their first sets, with Stephenson taking it 6-3 and Clement at 6-4. With Kentucky leading 3-2, the pair would battle to the end. With Stephenson being up 2-1 early in the second, this would be an opportunity for the freshman to clinch the match. Stephenson, the Kentucky native, played at the number five singles slot, ultimately clinching the match for the Wildcats. Sunday marks the Cats’ second straight win over UVA in regular season play.

The Kentucky Wildcats will be back at the Hillary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex on Friday, February 9th, where they will take on No. 12 Harvard at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

#16 Kentucky 4, #3 Virginia 3


Court 1 – Lapadat/Mercer (UK) def. Graziani/Hopper (UVA) 6-2

Court 2 – von der Schulenburg/Yaffa (UVA) def. Stephenson/Weekes (UK) 6-4

Court 3 – Dietrich/Kiefer (UVA) def. Baadi/Loutit (UK) 6-3


Court 1 – Taha Baadi (UK) def. No. 26 Jeffery von der Schulenburg (UVA) 5-7. 6-3, 7-5

Court 2 – Dylan Dietrich (UVA) def. Jack Loutit (UK) 6-3, 6-2

Court 3 – Jaden Weekes (UK) def. Alexander Keifer (UVA) 6-4, 6-2

Court 4 – Charlelie Cosnet (UK) def. Edoardo Graziani (UVA) 6-4, 6-4

Court 5 – Eli Stephenson (UK) def. James Hopper (UVA) 6-3, 6-2

Court 6 – Mans Dalhberg (UVA) def. Christephe Clement (UK) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (3)

Order of Finish: 

Doubles—1, 3, 2*

Singles— 2, 3, 4, 1, 5,* 6

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

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