Men's Tennis
Kentucky to Host Opening Weekend of NCAA Tournament

Kentucky to Host Opening Weekend of NCAA Tournament

by Cadee Pierce

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fifth-seeded Kentucky men’s tennis is primed to host DePaul, Toledo and Illinois for rounds one and two of the 2024 NCAA Tournament this Friday and Saturday at the Boone Tennis Complex.

The Wildcats will face Big East champion, DePaul in the Round of 64 at 4 p.m. on Friday in the second of the day’s two matches. Friday’s opening contest will pit the Big Ten’s Illinois against Toledo out of the Mid-American Conference. The winning teams will move on to Saturday when they will take the courts once again for a 4 p.m. clash. All action will be streamed on with live stats available on Stat Broadcast.

After making a run to the quarterfinals last season, Kentucky is hoping for greater success in 2024. The Wildcats are coming off the program’s third ever SEC Tournament Championship and carry a 24-2 overall record, which includes a 12-0 mark in the regular season. Taha Baadi (No. 28) and Joshua Lapadat (No. 80) are featured in the ITA singles rankings, while Lapadat and partner JJ Mercer carry a No. 4 ranking in doubles.

Kentucky is 35-30 in the NCAA Tournament all-time including a 18-9 record in the first round. UK is making its 31st NCAA appearance overall. The team has won at least one match in each of the last six tournaments.

DePaul (14-9) qualified for the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Big East Championship last month. The Blue Demons are led by junior, Matteo Iaquinto, who was named the Big East tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. DePaul’s Pablo Torres Almeida leads the team in the fourth and fifth position in singles with a 13-2 record overall and 4-0 in the Big East. The duo of Sven Moser and Leon Huck are 13-7 overall in doubles with a 4-0 mark in the Big East this season.

Illinois enters the tournament as the No. 29 team in the nation and the No. 2 seed in the Lexington regional. The Illini are 16-9 this season and 6-3 in conference but took a fall in the first match of the Big Ten Tournament against the fifth-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers. Karlis Ozolins leads the Illini in singles on the top court checking in at No. 26 in the ITA singles rankings with a 17-9 record this season. Illinois has two more ranked forces in singles, Hunter Heck takes the No. 46 nationally ranked spot in ITA singles leading the Illini with a 20-11 overall record and Kenta Miyoshi squeezes in the No. 95 ITA singles spot. In doubles, Ozolins and Heck register in the top-12 in the nation going 20-5 and taking the No. 12 ITA doubles ranking. The Illini duo of Lucas Horve and Oliver Okonkwo are No.48 in the ITA doubles ranking with a 19-7 season record together.

Toledo (14-10) makes their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament after coming off a huge win over Western Michigan, 4-1, in the championship match of the 2024 Mid-American Conference Tournament. Toledo’s Pawit Sornlaksup leads the team on the No. 1 court, clinching the tournament title for the Rockets, and with a 16-9 singles record which ranks him No. 65. Sornlaksup and Marko Galic are 8-5 in doubles leading the Rockets in the first position.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available for purchase NOW to the general public through and the UK Ticket Office.

Tickets are $15, while youth ages 3-18 and seniors 65+ will have a discounted price at $10. Children ages 2 and under qualify for free admission. Additionally, all seating is general admission and Friday’s ticket is good for both matches. All tickets must be purchased in advance using the links provided.

Full-time University of Kentucky students are granted free admission by presenting their valid UK student ID at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on match day with the free ticket provided by UKAD Marketing. Faculty/Staff ID’s, K Fund Sports Passes, and Junior Wildcat Club Passes WILL NOT be admitted for free and will need to purchase tickets via the public link.

Overall, fans are encouraged to purchase in advance to try and avoid long lines that may occur on the day of the matches.

All pre-purchased tickets will be available via mobile delivery. Ticket purchasers will be able to access their tickets electronically through My UK Account or the UK Athletics App after purchase using the email they purchased tickets with. Additional mobile ticket information may be found online at

Parking will be available in the lot directly across from the tennis facility, in the E-lot and C-16 lot near the UK Track Complex. Additional parking may be found in the green lot of Kroger Field. PS7 is pay-to-park on Friday. Saturday it will be open to public parking. Gates will open 1 hour prior to the first match each day at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.


Friday, May 3 –

Match One: Toledo vs. Illinois – 1 p.m.

Match Two: No. 5 Kentucky vs. DePaul  – 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 4 –

Match Three: Winner of match 1 vs. winner of match 2 – 4 p.m.

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

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