Men's Tennis
No. 7 Kentucky Knocks Off Vanderbilt to Open SEC Play

No. 7 Kentucky Knocks Off Vanderbilt to Open SEC Play

by Ben Slack

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Returning to play after over a week off, the seventh-ranked Kentucky men’s tennis team (10-2, 1-0 SEC) commenced its conference schedule with a 6-1 win over Vanderbilt (9-4, 0-1 SEC). The match, played indoors at the Currey Tennis Pavilion in Nashville, was dominated by the Wildcats, as they picked up the doubles point and five singles wins to open Southeastern Conference play with a win.

Kentucky claimed the doubles point for the seventh time this season, taking victory on courts one and three. Vanderbilt took the early lead in the opening session, as the Commodore pairing of Joubert Klopper and Michael Ross claimed a 6-3 victory over Eli Stephenson and Jaden Weekes on court two. The Wildcats would tie doubles play on court three, as the freshmen pairing of Matt Rankin and Jack Loutit took down Hugo Coquelin and Danil Panarin, 6-3. With the opening point down to the top court, Kentucky’s No. 23-ranked duo of JJ Mercer and Joshua Lapadat came up clutch, sealing the lead in the dual with a 6-2 win over Jeremie Casabon and Nathan Cox.

Entering singles play with a 1-0 lead, the Wildcats took three of the six first sets. Lapadat was the first to claim victory, as he picked up his third win of the season with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Cox on court two. Quickly following suit, Kentucky’s Charlelie Cosnet would put the Cats within one point of victory with a straight set win over Casabon on court four. The sophomore Frenchman maintained his perfect singles record, moving to 9-0 on the 2024 season.

The Commodores would claim their only point in the match on court one, as Panarin took down No. 24 Taha Baadi in straight sets to keep the match alive. However, a pair of comeback victories would allow the visiting squad to clinch the match. After a slow start, Loutit found a new level in the second set of his No. 5 singles match, taking the second set 6-0 before finishing off the dual with a 6-1 win in the third.

The two teams elected to play out, allowing sophomore Jaden Weekes to recover from an opening-set tiebreak loss with vengeance. The Montreal native won 12 of the final 14 games to seal the win on court three, his fifth victory of the season. Stephenson closed the match out with a straight-set win on court six, as the freshman continued the undefeated start to his collegiate career. The Louisville native is now 9-0 this season, tied with Cosnet for the best record on the team.

The Wildcats will return to Lexington to close the opening weekend of conference action, facing No. 18 Alabama on Sunday, March 3. The top-25 showdown will be a rematch of the 2024 ITA Kickoff Weekend Regional Final, where the Crimson Tide upset Kentucky in Lexington. First serve is slated for 1:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Admission is free to the public and fans who are unable to attend can follow along via live stats or live stream.



No. 7 Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt


No. 23 Lapadat/Mercer (UK) def. Cox/Casabon (VU) 6-2

Klopper/Ross (VU) def. Weekes/Stephenson (UK) 6-3

Loutit/Rankin (UK) def. Coquelin/Panarin (VU) 6-3



Danil Panarin (VU) def. No. 24 Taha Baadi (UK) 6-2, 7-5

Josh Lapadat (UK) def. Nathan Cox (VU) 6-2, 6-3

Jaden Weekes (UK) def. Joubert Klopper (VU) 6-7 (3), 6-0, 6-2

Charlelie Cosnet (UK) def. Jeremie Casabon (VU) 6-3, 6-4

Jack Loutit (UK) def. Michael Ross (VU) 2-6, 6-0, 6-1

Eli Stephenson (UK) def. Hugo Coquelin (VU) 6-3, 6-3


Order of Finish:

Doubles— 2, 3, 1*

Singles—2, 4, 1, 5*, 3, 6


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

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