No. 11 Wildcats Take on Harvard & Duke Coming Off Huge Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 11 Kentucky men’s tennis team (6-1, 0-0 SEC) looks to continue its success after a big weekend at the Hilary Boone Tennis Complex with No. 8 Harvard (5-1, 0-0 Ivy) and a trip to Durham, N.C. to take on No. 15 Duke (5-2, 0-0 ACC).
Kentucky’s match with Harvard will commence at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, and the battle with the Blue Devils will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Admission to the match against Harvard is free for all fans.
The Wildcats are led by senior Taha Baadi who is coming off of two top-30-ranked singles’ wins, and is now ranked No. 27, marked with an SEC Athlete of The Week accolade announced Wednesday. Last weekend Baadi defeated No. 16 Etienne Donnet from the University of Louisville in two sets and followed that performance up by defeating Virginia’s No. 26 Jeffery von der Schulenburg in a thrilling three-set match. SEC Freshman of the Week Eli Stephenson also looks to continue his success, along with JJ Mercer and Josh Lapadat, who are a ranked doubles’ pair at No. 44 this week.
Harvard was a participant of the NCAA Tournament in the 2023 season, making it to the round of 16. They are led by No. 12 Cooper Williams and Henry von der Schulenburg. Freshman Cooper Williams is 9-3 in singles’ play in his first collegiate season and is on an eight-match win streak dating back to October. He also has teamed up with Daniel Milavsky in doubles play, and they are ranked as the No. 4 pairing in the country. Henry von der Schulenburg has been an All-Ivy League selection for the past two years, and was most notably an All-American in 2022. He is also brother of Baadi’s Virginia single opponent, Jeffery von der Schulenburg, and led Harvard to an Ivy League Championship last season.
Kentucky has not played a match against Harvard since 2008, and the record between the two all-time is tied at 5-5. The Wildcats look to relaunch this matchup Friday, in hopes that it swings the all-time record in their favor.
The Duke Blue Devils also made it to the round of 16 in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. They are led by a 2023 All-American in No. 47 Pedro Rodenas. His list of accolades in his freshman year campaign in 2023 also include ACC Freshman of the Year, First Team All-ACC singles, and Second Team All-ACC doubles. Along with Rodenas, Duke has the No. 11 ranked doubles pair in Andrew Zhang and Michael Heller.
The Wildcats last played Duke almost a year ago in the 2023 season, as the victory ended up favoring Kentucky 4-3 with a clinch by Baadi.
For those unable to attend, both matches will feature live stats, available through StatBroadcast, and a live stream provided on TrackTennis
For the latest on UK Men’s Tennis, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKMensTennis.