Men's Tennis
Trio of Wildcats Ready for NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships

Trio of Wildcats Ready for NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships

by Greg Welsh

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Kentucky men’s tennis season is not quite over yet. Joshua Lapadat, JJ Mercer and Taha Baadi will represent the Wildcats in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, May 20-25, at the Greenwood Tennis Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

Lapadat and Mercer enter as the No. 3 overall seed in the 32-team doubles draw and will face Princeton’s Filippos Astreinidis and Paul Inchauspe, the No. 32 ranked team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s doubles rankings, in Tuesday’s opening round.

Baadi, meanwhile, is scheduled to take on Illinois’ Hunter Heck in the first round of singles play on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.

The experienced tandem of Lapadat and Mercer will be making their first NCAA doubles appearance and are the first Wildcat pair to be in the doubles’ tournament since Gabriel Diallo and Cesar Bourgois in 2021. The duo is 16-6 on the season, including an 8-3 record against nationally ranked opponents, with all matches coming on the No. 1 doubles court.

The Tigers’ Astreinidis and Inchauspe own an overall record of 10-5 at first doubles for Princeton, going 4-2 against ITA nationally ranked opponents.

Kentucky’s No. 1 singles player for most of the 2023-24 season, Baadi will make his first NCAA singles tournament appearance this year. The fifth-year went 15-10 this season with a team-best 10 wins over ranked opponents and boasted a 13-9 record on the top court. He reached a career-high singles rank of No. 21 earlier this season and was No. 28 in the most recent edition of the ITA rankings.

Baadi will do battle with Heck of Illinois, the No. 46 ranked collegiate player nationally and an All-Big Ten First Team selection. Heck finished the dual season with a 12-8 record in singles matches, playing anywhere from No. 1 to No. 3 in the Illini lineup.

The NCAA Singles and Doubles Champions will be crowned next Saturday, May 25.

Kentucky men’s tennis reached the national quarterfinals for a third-straight season before falling to TCU this past Thursday. Kentucky ended the year with an impressive overall record of 27-3 and won both the SEC Regular Season and Tournament titles for just the second time in program history.

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

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