Men’s and women’s tennis earn different fates in first round

Staff Report

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After what was a long day of tennis in Oxford, Miss., UK men’s tennis advanced to the quarterfinals by outlasting No. 9 Mississippi State 4-2.

The match lasted more than six hours and did not end until around 3:30 a.m. The day had already been delayed by lengthy matches and tornado warnings in the area.

“This is a very big win for the boys,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said to UK Athletics. “We kind of found a spark in doubles which I thought was big.”

The eighth-seeded Cats won the doubles point, which Kauffmann has been pushing the importance of to his guys all year. UK has now won 20 of the 32 doubles points this year.

Junior Tom Jomby would move the UK lead to 2-0 after claiming the win over Mississippi State’s Malte Stropp 6-3, 6-4.

Senior Anthony Rossi defeated No. 12 Romain Bogaerts 6-3, 7-5. Rossi is now 21-5 on the year from the number one spot in the draw.

After the score was narrowed to 3-2, UK freshman Beck Pennington and MSU’s Zach White would decide the final point in the match.

In the first set, Pennington and White each held serve through the opening 12 points before Pennington won in a tie break to take the first set 7-6. In the second set Pennington controlled throughout, breaking White’s serve three times to win the set and the match 6-0.

The Cats will face off with No. 1 seed Georgia, who won the regular season title with a 12-1 record.

On the women’s side, UK took on 14-seeded LSU in the first round of the SEC Tournament in a rematch.

UK fell behind early after losing the doubles point on court two and three. Freshman Nadia Ravita evened the score at 1-1 with her win in singles 7-5, 6-3. LSU responded by winning singles matches on courts two and three to put UK one point away from elimination.

Junior Caitlin McGraw kept the Cats in it by winning her match 7-5, 7-6 to make the score 3-2. LSU would clinch the match thanks to a three set victory by Keri Frankenberger over UK’s Khristinia Blajkevitch 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

UK will wait to find out their postseason fate in the NCAA Tournament, The NCAA women’s tennis Tournament selection show will be held April 30.