Liam Draxl lone Wildcat after day three while Diallo, doubles drop


Liam Draxl returns a hit during the University of Kentucky vs. Louisiana State men’s tennis meet on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 4-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Hunter Shelton

As day three of the NCAA Tennis Championships singles and doubles tournaments came to a close, Kentucky finds themselves with one Wildcat remaining in the two draws.

No. 14 Gabriel Diallo dropped his round of 16 matchup against William Blumberg of North Carolina 3-6, 1-6, ending his run at the singles championship.

Diallo’s sophomore season was a memorable one, as the Montreal native earned First-Team All-SEC honors and will eventually claim ITA All-American status in what was his first full year in Lexington.

Akvilė Paražinskaitė and Fiona Arrese, the No. 1 overall seed in the women’s doubles bracket, were bounced in the second round by UCLA’s Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart, the Bruin duo shocked the Cats with a 6-3, 6-2 win.

While the top seeded ‘Cats didn’t get the result they were after, they still finished the Spring as the first UK pair to earn a No. 1 ranking since 2016 and the first ever to earn the No. 1 seed in the double’s tournament, good enough to earn All-SEC honors with All-American honors soon to follow.

It wasn’t all bad for the Wildcats however, as Liam Draxl, the No. 1 seed in the singles draw, would once again vanquish an early deficit.

After dropping the first set against Tennessee’s Adam Walton, the Canadian sophomore would play hero for the third day in a row, winning the second set and forcing a third. After Walton was one game away from victory, Draxl stepped up and won four straight games to seal the win and advance to the quarterfinals of the singles tournament.

Awaiting Draxl in the quarterfinals is the No. 8 player in the tournament, Gabriel Decamps of Central Florida.

The match will begin at noon on Wednesday as Draxl looks to extend his run to the singles crown.