Matsumura Named SEC Freshman of the Week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After another stellar showing this week, the Southeastern Conference office has named Kentucky men’s tennis freshman Ryotaro Matsumura the SEC Freshman of the Week. 

The recognition marks Matsumura’s first career SEC honor. 

“Hard work and dedication pays off, and those are two words that best describe Ryo,” fifth season head coach Cedric Kauffman said. “He is a team player and I think the sky is the limit for him. I can’t wait to see where his consistency takes him.”

Matsumura earned the distinction after playing a critical role in Kentucky’s sweeping upset of then-No. 31 Notre Dame last Sunday. Matsumura notched wins in both singles and doubles play. He kicked off the match alongside classmate Enzo Wallart, as the two combined for the team’s first doubles victory, claiming a 6-4 win on the second court. He then followed up his doubles performance with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Alex Lawson on the court No. 2 to secure a 3-0 lead for the team.

As Kauffmann mentioned, Matsumura has been a model of consistency this season. The mid-year enrollee from Japan has made a name for himself, specifically in singles play, where he has notched an 8-1 record in one-on-one matches, playing on the top and second courts. Matsumura has earned two singles wins over ranked opponents this season, defeating then-No. 102 TJ Pura in UK’s 4-3 upset of then-No. 13 Duke, as well as a straight-set win over then-No. 47 Sam Shropshire in the team’s loss at Northwestern. In doubles, Matsumura has played along Wallart all season, with a 3-2 record during the dual season and a 6-2 record playing together all-time. 

SEC Freshman of the Week was not the only honor Matsumura picked up this week, as the rookie was also ranked in singles for the first time in his career in yesterday’s ITA rankings, clocking in at No. 90 in the country.

Wildcats fans can watch Matsumura and the rest of the Kentucky men’s tennis team resume action on Friday, Feb. 21, when the No. 18 Cats take on the University of Indiana. The match will be held in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, with the match set to begin at 6 p.m. 

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.