Wildcat Alum Alejandro Gomez Stuns World No. 45 Marcos Baghdatis
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky men’s tennis alum Alejandro Gomez stunned the tennis world on Wednesday night, upsetting world No. 45 and former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (3) at the Claro Open in Gomez’s home nation of Colombia.
“Congratulations to Alejandro,” UK assistant coach Matt Emery said. “To knock out a grand slam finalist in an ATP-level event, on the biggest of stages, is an incredible accomplishment. No one is more deserving of his success than Alejandro. He was one of the hardest-working players we have ever had to put on a UK jersey. What a tremendous catapult for his confidence and ranking so early in his career.”
The win for Gomez, who is currently slotted at No. 698, is the first-ever top-50 win for any former Kentucky men’s tennis player. Baghdatis entered the match ranked No. 45 in the ATP World Singles Rankings and had reached as high as No. 8 following his run to the Australian Open Finals.
Gomez took the first set in 38 minutes with a 6-3 decision in the opening frame. In the opening set, Gomez had five aces and served at 52 percent. After dropping the second set, the stage was set for a dramatic finish under the lights in Bogota.
After 12 consecutive service holds in the decisive third frame to send the match into a third-set tiebreak, Gomez took a 6-2 lead and set himself up with a quadruple match point. After Baghdatis served out a point for 6-3, Gomez put the upset away to claim the tiebreaker, 7-3, and the match, 7-6 (3).
The win for Gomez continues a great summer for UK men’s tennis alumni, who have seen Tom Jomby, Eric Quigley, Alexis Musialek, William Bushamuka, and Gomez take their careers to new heights the last few months.
“This has truly been one of the most fun summers of my career,” Emery said. “Seeing our players succeed at this level on the ATP Tour is unprecedented. Watching these players achieve their goals is what drives me every day, and I love seeing their success.”
“I remember watching Baghdatis as a kid growing up,” current UK tennis player Beck Pennington said. “He was one of my idols. For a former UK Tennis player and my close friend to get the opportunity to play him, let alone beat him, is a very cool experience. I couldn’t be prouder of my friend, my former teammate, and our team.”
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