After an excellent performance versus Arkansas a week ago, the No. 22 UK men’s tennis team returned to action on Friday afternoon, hosting the struggling Vanderbilt Commodores at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in their first outdoor match of the season.
The Commodores began the season 4-0, but find themselves amidst a seven-match skid and winless in conference play.
The 13-3 (3-2 SEC) Wildcats have bounced back nicely from their two-match losing streak by breezing past Auburn and sweeping the Razorbacks in their last two matches. UK was also looking to protect its outstanding 11-0 record at home, while Vandy was looking for its first win away from Nashville.
Neither streak was ended on this day; it did not take long for Kentucky to get ahead.
Cesar Bourgois and Gabriel Diallo made quick work of George Harwell and Macsen Sisam on court one, winning 6-1 for their tenth doubles victory of the season.
Not far behind was the newly formed team of Liam Draxl and Millen Hurrion. The pair clinched the doubles point for Kentucky, defeating Marcus Ferreira and Adam Sraberg 6-1. Draxl and Hurrion are 2-0 by a combined score of 12-3 through two doubles matches together.
Hurrion rode his momentum into singles play, claiming the first singles point for the Cats after dominating Sisam 6-1, 6-0. The senior out of Weymouth, England is now 10-2 in singles on the year and is on a five-match win streak.
Diallo followed suit on court two, rolling past Ferreira 6-1, 6-3 to give Kentucky a commanding 3-0 lead.
No. 114 Alexandre Leblanc returned to singles action today and finished the job for the Wildcats on court six. His defeat of Joubert Klopper 6-3, 6-0 gave UK a swift victory over the Commodore and represented his first SEC singles match win of the campaign.
No. 45 Draxl added on to the Wildcat lead on court one, defeating No. 117 Harwell 6-4, 6-1. The win was Draxl’s fifth against a ranked opponent this spring, which pushed his singles record to 14-1.
Vandy got on the board late when Max Freeman prevailed over Yasha Zemel 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (shortened third set) on court five. The ‘Dores grabbed the last point of the match on court four thanks to Jeremie Casabon, who outlasted Bourgois 7-6, 6-2. The result snapped a seven-match winning streak for Bourgois and marked only his second singles loss of the season.
Kentucky improved to 14-3 (4-2 SEC) with the victory. They now have another week-long break before hitting the road for a non-conference clash with ACC juggernaut Virginia. The Cats and Cavaliers are set to square off at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia on Mar. 19. Start time is schedule for 3:00 p.m. E.T.