UK men’s tennis to play three matches in two days

No. 11 Kentucky will host rival Louisville, visit Northern Kentucky this weekend 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – After sweeping its first two matches of the season against Dayton, No. 12 Kentucky (2-0) will host Louisville (2-0) on Friday at 4 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex before heading Crestview Hills, Kentucky and the Five Seasons Sports Club on Saturday to take on Northern Kentucky (1-0) at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET.

Friday will mark the first time in over 10 years that the Cardinals make the 80-mile trip to Lexington. The last time the two played at the Boone Tennis Complex was for the second round of the NCAA Championship Tournament on May 14, 2011, in which UK won 4-3. Friday’s match marks the first regular-season tilt in Lexington between the in-state rivals since 2005.

The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Cardinals, 43-3-1, in a series that dates to 1925. UK is 26-0 since Louisville’s men’s tennis team’s inaugural varsity season in 1982-83.

The Wildcats won last year’s match on the road against the Cardinals, 4-2.

In UK’s season opener, the Wildcats hosted the Dayton Flyers and swept UD in both matches of its doubleheader, 5-0 and 4-0. Sophomore Yasha Zemel, the 122nd-ranked singles player, earned the first singles point in both matches. Redshirt sophomore and 89th-ranked singles player, JJ Mercer, clinched the victory in the afternoon match and earned his first match-clinching point as a Wildcat in a 6-1, 6-2 win.

The morning contest marked the first time reigning Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year Liam Draxl returned to the court representing the Blue and White since last year’s NCAA Singles Tournament in May 2021.

Louisville faced Dayton in its season opener as well this past Tuesday in the first half of a doubleheader, taking down the Flyers by a score of 6-1. The Cardinals then hosted Bellarmine later that afternoon, besting the Knights, 7-0.

Louisville is one of three Atlantic Coast Conference teams Kentucky will face this season. The other two will be at home against No. T-7 Virginia (0-0) and at Duke (0-0), will be played in February, on the 4th and 13th, respectively.

After hosting Louisville, Kentucky will play its second and third matches in three days in Crestview Hills, Kentucky at the Five Seasons Sports Club against Northern Kentucky on Saturday. The Norse return five players from last year’s squad. NKU won their first match of the year against Thomas More by a score of 7-0 on Saturday.

Admission to all home matches for Kentucky Tennis is free of charge to the public. For any indoor match held on UK’s campus, masks for all attendees are required in conjunction with the University of Kentucky’s indoor mask mandate currently in place. Doors to the Boone Tennis Complex will open one hour prior to the start of each match.

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