By Tyler Spanyer | @KernelSpanyer
The No. 6 UK men’s tennis team opened SEC play this weekend by defeating No. 47 Arkansas and No. 39 Louisiana State at the Boone Tennis Complex.
Friday’s match was against the Razorbacks, who came in with an 11-3 record. The Cats started strong, winning the doubles point thanks to courts two and three. During the doubles match junior Tom Jomby was visibly upset at the chair, and following the match he refused to shake the chair’s hand.
Jomby’s behavior continued into singles, where he constantly was yelling at the chair and received two code violations during his three-set win. Jomby dropped just his second set of the year, with the other coming against the University of Southern California in early February.
When asked about Jomby’s behavior following the match, head coach Cedric Kauffmann said his star player’s attitude is a work in progress.
“We have been working on Tom’s attitude for two and a half years now, and he is almost there,” Kauffmann said. “We definitely are not as good without him, but there is still clearly some work that needs to be done.”
The Cats would clinch the match rather quickly, winning on courts one, three and two to get the fourth and deciding point.
Senior Anthony Rossi had a good showing, defeating No. 125 Greg Lehmann, 6-2, 6-2. Rossi showed all facets of his game for his eighth straight victory.
UK would end up dropping two of the final three matches to make the final score 5-2.
“We did not play like a championship team today,” Kauffmann said following the match. “We got the win and I am happy for the boys, but we did not close this match out like a championship team.”
On Sunday, the Cats took the courts again to face off with the No. 39-ranked Tigers of LSU. UK would again get off to a quick start easily winning the doubles point. No. 21 Jomby and freshman Kevin Lai won their first SEC match, 8-5.
Rossi would play strong again, collecting his ninth straight win, beating LSU’s Chris Simpson, 6-3, 6-1. Rossi went 4-0 this weekend.
Jomby got back to form, winning easily, 6-2, 6-4, and also improving on his behavior from Friday.
Sophomore Charles Minc would clinch the match for the Cats on court four, winning 6-4, 6-4. Minc, who usually plays out of the No. 5 spot, recently replaced freshman Juan Pablo Murra in the No. 4 slot.
The Cats (14-2, 2-0 SEC) will head to Waco, Texas, next week to take on No. 26 Baylor before heading to College Station to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M. It will be the Cats’ and Aggies’ first matchup in SEC play.