Men’s Tennis Wins on Five-Straight Courts to Defeat Arkansas

LEXINGTON, Ky.  – The No. 22 Kentucky men’s tennis team fought back from a 2-0 deficit with five-straight singles wins to clinch its Southeastern Conference Opener, 5-2 in a charged atmosphere at the Boone Tennis Center on Friday.

Trey Yates clinched the match with a straight-sets win on court five. The closing moments weren’t quite as close as the score line appeared. Yates played a great first set and got out to a two-break lead in the second set, but he dropped serve at 5-2. Still he closed the match like a champion in his next service game to win 6-4, 6-4. 

Kentucky improved to 9-2 (1-0 SEC). Arkansas is 10-3 (0-1 SEC). 

”What a great college match tonight,” assistant coach Matt Emery said. “We knew this was going to be a tough match. We have an incredible amount of respect for their coaching staff. Coach Jackson is a Hall of Fame coach so we knew they were going to fight hard.

"Trey Yates tonight proved why he is one of the toughest players in the country.  He is playing better each match, which is a testament to his work ethic. He was a stud tonight."

With UK down 2-0 overall, Ryotaro Matsumura cruised 6-2, 6-2 to get UK on the board on court two over Jose Salazar.

Nils Ellefson came back from a set down and broke at 4-4 in the third set to even the overall match at 2-2 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Santiago Munoz on court 3.

Enzo Wallart ground out a three-set win over Giammarco Micolani on court four to turn the tide in the match and give the Wildcats their first lead, 3-2. He kept pressure on Micolani’s serve throughout the decisive set and eventually got the breakthrough to take a 5-4 lead. He then served it out.

Soon after, Yates closed the door. 

"This match was great for us because it proved how deep we are from top to bottom.  To lose the doubles point and lose at No. 1 singles, two places we have been really strong all season, and come back and win 5-2 is a testament to these guys' competitiveness and belief."

Charles Minc controlled his match from start to finish; clinching after the dual match’s outcome had been decided.

"It was really special seeing Charles Minc get a win and get going.  I'm proud of him for keeping his confidence after a couple of losses.  He is going to do some special things for us this year."

Arkansas’ Mike Redlicki defeated Will Bushamuka in straight sets: 6-2, 6-4 on court one to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.

The doubles point was tightly contested, coming down to a late break on court two. The Razorbacks’ Jose Slazar and Adam Sanjurjo edged UK’s Ryotaro Matsumura and Enzo Wallart to win 7-5 and give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the match.

Nils Ellefsen and William Bushumuka won three straight games, two of them breaks, to take a 4-1 lead they would never relinquish to give the initial win on court one, 6-3.

Santiago Munoz and Johan denToom conversely got a break in the third game and held serve from threre to even doubles with a 6-4 win on court three.

From there all eyes turned to court two, with Arkansas finding small margins on the big points to claim the doubles point.

Kentucky continues its homestand on Sunday, Mar. 6, at 1 p.m. as the Wildcats host No. 26 Ole Miss in the Boone Tennis Complex. 

#22 Kentucky 5, #27 Arkansas 2

1. #82 Mike Redlicki (AR) def. #31 William Bushamuka (UK) 6-2, 6-4
2. #90 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Jose Salazar (AR) 6-2, 6-2
3. Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Santiago Munoz (AR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Giammarco Micolani (AR) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
5. Trey Yates (UK) def. Adam Sanjurjo (AR) 6-4, 6-4
6. Chalres Minc (UK) def. Johan den Toom (AR) 6-4, 6-2

1. Nils Ellefsen/William Bushamuka (UK) def. #49 Mike Redlicki/Giammarco Micolani (AR) 6-3
2. Jose Salazar/Adam Sanjurjo (AR) def. Ryotaro Matsumura/Enzo Wallart (UK) 7-5
3. Santiago Munoz/Johan den Toom (AR) def. Gus Benson/Kevin Lai (UK) 6-4

Match Notes
Arkansas 10-3 (0-1 SEC); National ranking #27
Kentucky 9-2 (1-0 SEC); National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,2,3,4,5,6)