Men's Tennis
Kentucky Crowned Back-To-Back SEC Tournament Champions

Kentucky Crowned Back-To-Back SEC Tournament Champions

by Cadee Pierce


BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 1 seed Kentucky men’s tennis (24-2, 12-0 SEC) successfully defended their Southeastern Conference Tournament title, defeating the No. 11 seed South Carolina Gamecocks (17-14, 4-8 SEC), 4-2, on Sunday afternoon at the LSU Tennis Complex. The win helps Kentucky achieve their third SEC Tournament title in program history and their second in as many years. It also marks the second time the program has won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles in the same season, the last coming in 1992.

There was a thrilling start to the doubles session as the Wildcats fifth-year senior Taha Baadi and partner Jack Loutit took the first win, defeating the Gamecocks’ duo of Jelani Sarr and Lucas Da Silva, 6-3. On court three, Eli Stephenson and Jaden Weekes fell to South Carolina’s pair Casey Hoole and Sean Daryabeigi, 6-4. With the doubles point coming down to a tiebreak on court one, Kentucky’s ranked pair No. 7 Josh Lapadat and JJ Mercer clinched the Wildcats’ tenth straight doubles point, 7-6(3), giving UK the 1-0 advantage.

Both teams came out firing to kick off singles. South Carolina got their foot in the door as No. 15 Toby Samuel took out UK’s Baadi on court one, 6-4, 6-2. The Gamecocks would take their first lead as the freshman Daryabeigi was victorious over Weekes at third singles, 6-4, 6-1. Sophomore Charlelie Cosnet shifted the momentum back in favor of the Wildcats with a 7-5, 6-3 win over the Gamecocks’ Lucas Da Silva. Lapadat, the 2023 SEC Tournament MVP, continued his strong tournament record by defeating SC’s James Story in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-1. The Kentucky senior finished the tournament with a 5-0 record between singles and doubles for the second-straight season.

On court six, Stephenson came back from 5-2 down against South Carolina’s Carter Morgan to push the opening set to a tiebreak, which he would eventually win, 7-4. That set up the opportunity for the freshman to be the clincher as, with his team in front 3-2, the Kentucky native earned the second set, 6-3, to secure the coveted title for UK.

Cosnet, the sophomore from Le Mans, France, was named the 2024 SEC Tournament MVP as the only Wildcat to go 3-0 in singles play on the week. Mercer, the graduate, was also named to the All-Tournament Team for his three doubles victories alongside Lapadat on the top court.

Sunday’s final appearance was the third-straight in the SEC Tournament for Kentucky, the first school to achieve the feat since Mississippi State from 2017-2019. With the win, Kentucky becomes the tenth team to go undefeated in the SEC during the regular season and win the SEC Tournament in the same year. The Cats are also the seventh back-to-back SEC Tournament Champions in league history.

Next on the radar, Kentucky men’s tennis will tune in to the NCAA Tournament selection show slated for Monday, April 29.


No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 13 South Carolina


No. 7 Lapadat/Mercer (UK) def. Samuel/Story (SC): 7-6(3)

Baadi/Loutit (UK) def. Sarr/Da Silva (SC): 6-3

Hoole/Daryabeigi (USC) def. Stephenson/Weekes (UK): 6-4


No. 15 Toby Samuel (SC) def. No. 35 Taha Baadi (UK): 6-4, 6-2

No. 97 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. James Story (SC): 6-4, 6-1

Sean Daryabeigi (SC) def. Jaden Weekes (UK): 6-4, 6-1

Charlelie Cosnet (UK) def. Lucas Da Silva (SC): 7-5, 6-3

Jack Loutit (UK) vs. Jelani Sarr (SC): 3-6, 6-4, 4-3 (unfinished)

Eli Stephenson (UK) def. Carter Morgan (SC): 7-6 (4), 6-3

Order of Finish:

Doubles— 2, 3, 1

Singles— 1, 3, 4, 2, 6*

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

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