Men's Tennis
Eli Stephenson Garners SEC Freshman of the Week for Second-Straight Week

Eli Stephenson Garners SEC Freshman of the Week for Second-Straight Week

by Ben Slack

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the second consecutive week, Eli Stephenson has been named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Wednesday afternoon. The freshman from Louisville, Ky. assembled another perfect weekend in singles, claiming wins against No. 8 Harvard and No. 15 Duke to move his season, and career, record to a perfect 6-0.

The Kentuckian opened his weekend by contributing a pair of wins to No. 11 Kentucky’s home upset of No. 8 Harvard. Stephenson claimed doubles victory on Court 2 alongside partner Jaden Weekes before adding an impressive come-from-behind singles win. Stephenson trailed 5-1 on Court 6 against the Crimson’s Masato Pererea before forcing the opening set into a tiebreak, where he saved to set points on his way to the first frame victory. He then cruised in the second frame to secure a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory and add the final point to his Kentucky’s 5-2 win.

Playing in just his second career road match, Stephenson was, again, up to the task against No. 15 Duke, fueling a furious Wildcat comeback that fell just short. Playing against Alexander Visser on Court 6, the rookie flipped two deadlocked sets into wins by claiming the final two games of each frame in his 7-5, 6-4 win.

Stephenson is just one of two Wildcats to still hold an undefeated singles record in 2024. He is also the only player in the conference to earn multiple weekly honors this season. The Louisvillian is now just the fourth Wildcat to claim multiple Freshman of the Week awards from the conference, joining Tom Jomby (2011), Kevin Lai (2013) and Ryo Matsumura (2016).

The Wildcats are off this weekend and will return to action on Wednesday, February 21 in a doubleheader against the Dayton Flyers. Play from the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center will commence at 11 a.m. (ET) with the second match slated to begin at 3 p.m. (ET). Admission is free to the public and fans who are unable to attend can follow along via live stats or live stream.

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

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