Cox's Thrilling Win Powers No. 12 Kentucky to National Indoors

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Senior Brad Cox outlasted No. 100 Danny Kreyman 15-13 in a second-set tiebreaker to seal No. 12 Kentucky’s 4-0 victory over No. 22 Wake Forest, advancing the Wildcats to the National Indoors for the second consecutive season at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Sunday.

Cox, a native of Duluth, Ga., started his match by taking the first set 6-3 before both players held serve throughout the second set, sending the match to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the Wildcat jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Kreyman responded to win six consecutive points and have a set point at 6-3. But Cox wouldn’t go away, tying the tiebreaker back up at six. With the tiebreaker tied at 13, Cox would score two winners to claim the tiebreaker 15-13 and give UK the win.

“It was an up and down match,” Cox said. “In the first set I got a break up 4-3 and sealed that and then in the second set it was a see-saw battle with no breaks. In the tiebreaker I got up 3-0 and then got down 6-3 so he had a few set points there but I kept fighting back. With help from our noisy crowd I was able to close it out. It was probably the longest tiebreaker that I have ever played.”

Cox has been impressive for Kentucky so far this season, posting a 6-0 singles record. The win over the top-100 ranked Kreyman was the first win over a ranked foe this season for Cox. All of Cox’s wins have come in straight-sets.

“We really competed hard in both singles and doubles today,” Emery said. “I thought that Brad Cox had a very gutsy effort. His record this year is an indication that he is one of the most improved singles players in the country. He was down several set points in the second set and fought back and made his opponent make plays and eventually he was able to pull out the win in the tiebreaker.”

With the win Kentucky earns one of 16 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Men’s Team Indoor Championships to be held in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 18-21. The appearance in the National Indoors is the second consecutive for Kentucky. Last year, Kentucky defeated Wake Forest 4-3 in Lexington to earn its first appearance in the round of 16 of the indoor or outdoor championships since 2005.

UK dominated the match over Wake Forest (1-1) from the beginning, winning the doubles point for the first time this season. Kentucky continued its momentum from doubles into singles, taking the first set on three of four courts en route to the 4-0 victory.

“This was without question the most compete match that we have played all year,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I love that we are coming together as a team and that we don’t have any holes or gaps in our lineup. At the end of the year, the teams that don’t have any holes in their lineups will be the ones that do the best at the NCAA Championships.”

UK jumped out of the gate early in doubles, leading on all three courts. Senior Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Tom Jomby dominated their doubles match for the second consecutive day, earning an 8-3 victory over David Hopkins and Zach Leslie. Cox and junior Eric Quigley took care of the doubles point from there, defeating Iain Atkinson and Tripper Carleton 8-5. Frenchmen Anthony Rossi and Alex Musialek played at No. 2 doubles for UK and led Jonathan Wolff and Kreyman 6-5 when play was suspended.

“One of the keys to this match was our doubles play,” Emery said. “Last year against Wake Forest, we lost the doubles point and we felt like we were playing behind the rest of the match. This year, we won the doubles point and followed it up by winning three first sets in singles to really give us momentum. I loved the energy that we had in doubles today. It was a great beginning to the match.”

The Wildcats continued to perform well in singles, including Cox’s victory over a top-100 ranked player, two other Wildcats defeated a ranked player. At No. 1 singles, Quigley played one of his best matches of the year, making light work of No. 45 Wolff 6-2, 6-2 to give Kentucky a 2-0 led in the overall match. Musialek finished soon after Quigley, taking down No. 87 Carleton 6-1, 6-4 to revenge a loss to Carleton last year at No. 2 singles.

Three matches did not finish Sunday, including a back-and-forth battle at No. 4 singles between Rossi and No. 109 Atkinson. Atkinson won the first set, while Rossi won the second. Kentucky led at No. 5 and No. 6 singles when Cox clinched the match with his thrilling victory. At No. 5 singles, Gonzalez led Hopkins 5-2 in the first set, while at No. 6 singles Grant Roberts had just broke Leslie to take a 2-1 lead.

“This was a good match and Wake Forest competed very well today,” Emery said. “Our guys have been banged up a little bit this year, but they were able to respond today and gut out a quality win.

I think that our crowd was a key to the match. They (the fans) were excellent today and that really helped us pull out this victory. It was great to see the Boone full of blue and I know that it meant a lot to the players to have that support out there.”

Kentucky will return to the courts next weekend when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., to take on to-ranked Virginia at 6 p.m. ET. Last year, Kentucky defeated then-No. 2 Virginia in Lexington 4-3 to snap UVA’s 63-match regular-season winning streak.

No. 12 Kentucky 4, No. 22 Wake Forest 0
Lexington, Ky. – Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex

#1 – No. 2 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 45 Jonathan Wolff (WF) 6-2, 6-2
#2 – No. 39 Alex Musialek (UK) def. No. 87 Tripper Carleton (WF) 6-1, 6-4
#3 – Brad Cox (UK) def. No. 100 Danny Kreyman (WF) 6-3, 7-6 (13)
#4 – No. 109 Iain Atkinson (WF) led Anthony Rossi (UK) 7-6 (3), 2-6, 3-2 DNF
#5 – No. 72 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) led David Hopkins (WF) 5-2, DNF
#6 – Grant Roberts (UK) led Zach Leslie (WF) 2-1 DNF

#1 – Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) def. Iain Atkinson/Tripper Carleton (WF) 8-5
#2 –Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) led Jonathan Wolff/Danny Kreyman (WF) 6-5 DNF
#3 – Alberto Gonzalez/Tom Jomby (UK) def. David Hopkins/Zach Leslie (WF) 8-3

Order of Finish:
Singles – 1, 2, 3*
Doubles – 3, 1*

No. 42 Boise State 4, No. 30 Wisconsin 0

No. 42 Boise State 4, No. 30 Wisconsin 0
Lexington, Ky. – Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex

#1 – No. 62 Damian Hume (BS) def. Marek Michalicka (Wisc.) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
#2 – No. 85 Filipp Pogotskin (BS) def. Billy Bertha (Wisc.) 6-3, 6-3
#3 – Scott Sears (BS) vs. Petr Satral (Wisc.) 7-5, 4-6, 5-5 DNF
#4 – Jeff Mullen (BS) def. Alex Robles (Wisc.) 6-3, 7-5
#5 – Rod Carey (Wisc.) led Andrew Bettles (Wisc.) 6-3, DNF
#6 – Nathan Sereke (BS) led Alexander Teppert (Wisc.) 6-0, 2-0 DNF

#1 – Marek Michalicka/Billy Bertha (Wisc.) def. Damian Hume/Scott Sears (BS) 8-3
#2 – Jeff Mullen/Nathan Sereke (BS) def. Rod Carey/Ricardo Martin (Wisc.) 8-4
#3 – Andrew Bettles/Filipp Pogotskin (BS) def. Petr Satral/Alexander Teppert (Wisc.) 8-3

Order of Finish:
Singles – 2, 4, 1*
Doubles – 1, 2, 3*