No. 4 Kentucky mens tennis falls to No. 14 Tennessee 4-0 on the road


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats fifth-year senior Alafia Ayeni hits the ball during the No. 4 Kentucky vs. Dayton mens tennis season opener match on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at the Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 5-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Colton Johnson, Reporter

No. 4 Kentucky mens tennis was held scoreless for the first time this year on Sunday as it fell 4-0 to No. 14 Tennessee at the Dr. Robert L. Barksdale Tennis Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The loss marks only the second time the Wildcats have lost back-to-back matches this year as they inch closer to the SEC Tournament.

Doubles play would prove troublesome for Kentucky as the No. 38 ranked doubles pair of junior Josh Lapadat and redshirt junior JJ Mercer fell 7-5.

Senior Liam Draxl and freshman Jaden Weekes would fall 6-4, with the third doubles match going unfinished as the Volunteers took a 1-0 advantage.

The Wildcats would continue to struggle as singles play ensued, with senior Taha Baadi falling on court four in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 as Tennessee doubled its lead.

On court five, Weekes would also fall in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 as Kentucky continued the search for its first team point.

The search would prove helpless as No. 27 fifth-year student Alafia Ayeni fell in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 after a tiebreaker as the Volunteers clinched the match point.

No. 22 Draxl’s match went unfinished against Volunteer junior No. 2 Johannus Monday after Tennessee clinched the match.

No. 44 Lapadat and freshman Charlelie Cosnet also had their matches go unfinished as the Wildcats left Knoxville scoreless.

The Wildcats will have an extended break to recover as they head back to Lexington to take on Vanderbilt on Senior Day at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center on Sunday, April 9, at noon EST.