UK earns a date to the NCAA Mens Tennis National Championship


Cole Parke


Kentucky mens tennis continues to improve upon its historic season, earning a spot in the NCAA National Championship game for the first time in program history on Saturday.

The win came just two days after the Wildcats stunned No. 1 TCU to secure a bid to the Final Four, the farthest a UK mens tennis team had ever gone at the time.

Waiting well into the night on Thursday to find out its Final Four opponent, as the duel between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan dragged on, the final score indicated UK would face off with the Buckeyes in a short turnaround from its narrow 4-3 win over the Horned Frogs.

The Final Four matchup itself, unlike the duel before it, turned out to be much less of a challenge for UK, with the Wildcats winning the competition 4-1, only conceding the doubles point early in the competition.

In the doubles, Kentucky’s best duo was that of Gabriel Diallo and Joshua Lapadat, who were tied 4-4 with their opponents when their match was abandoned.

Unfortunately for Diallo and Lapadat, their battle was for not as the duos of Millen Hurrion and Francois Musitelli and Liam Draxl and Alexandre LeBlanc came up short 6-3 and 6-1 respectively, securing the doubles point for the Buckeyes.

In the singles, Kentucky once again thrived first with Diallo, the No. 21 singles competitor in mens college tennis, defeating No. 13 Motej Vocel 6-2 in two consecutive matches to even the overall score at 1-1.

The Wildcats would go on to take the lead on court three when Hurrion, ranked No. 83, defeated his opponent, No. 19 JJ Tracy, 6-1 and 6-2 respectively.

Musitelli kept the ball rolling on court four, defeating No. 122 Jake Van Embugh 6-4 and 7-6(4) to put the Wildcats one point away from the National Championship.

No. 4 Draxl would ultimately be the one to send his team to the big game, defeating No. 9 Cannon Kingsley in three sets, conceding the first 6-2, evening it up 6-3 in the second and taking the final set 6-2, being rushed by his teammates on the court after the win.

With the National Championship just one day away, scheduled for Sunday, May 22, at 4 p.m. EST, Kentucky looks to secure its first national championship in program history, with its opponent set to be the winner of No. 6 Tennessee and No. 7 Virginia.