No. 4 Kentucky mens tennis falls to No. 8 Georgia 5-2


Samuel Colmar

Kentucky Wildcats senior Taha Baadi, left, talks to fifth year Alafia Ayeni during the No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 6 South Carolina mens tennis match on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at the Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. South Carolina won 4-3. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Sara Gibson, Reporter

No. 4 Kentucky mens tennis traveled to Athens, Georgia, on Friday where the team fell 5-2 to No. 8 Georgia, breaking a seven-match win streak and dropping only its second SEC match of the season.

Starting with doubles, No. 38 ranked doubles pair Josh Lapadat and JJ Mercer won the first match of doubles 6-3.

Yet, Kentucky would go on to lose the remaining doubles matches in tiebreakers.

On court one No. 25 pair Alafia Ayeni and Taha Baadi fell to No. 9 duo Trent Byrde and Ethan Quinn 7-6 (8-6).

To give the Bulldogs the doubles point was senior Liam Draxl and freshman Jaden Weekes who lost 7-6 (7-2).

Moving into singles play, Georgia’s momentum would continue to build beginning with a ranked matchup between No. 27 Ayeni and No. 17 Philip Henning, where Ayeni fell 6-4, 6-3.

Making the score 3-0, Baadi was defeated in three sets 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, by No. 99 Blake Croyder.

Clinching the win for Georgia, No. 4 Quinn took down No. 22 Draxl in straight set tiebreakers 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2).

No. 44 Lapadat gave Kentucky its first point of the match after defeating Bryde 7-6 (7-5) in straight sets.

Giving the Wildcats its second and last point was Weekes who beat No. 116 Teodor Giusca in three sets 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4.

The last point of the match went to the Bulldogs with freshman Charlelie Cosnet falling 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to Miguel Perez Pena.

With the loss, Kentucky moves to 19- 3 on the season and 7-2 in conference play with just three matches remaining in the regular season.

The Wildcats will look to rebound in Knoxville for a top 15 matchup with No. 14 Tennessee, on Sunday, April 2, at 1 p.m. EST.