No. 9 Kentucky Upsets No. 8 Oklahoma 4-3 in Marathon Match
Wildcats improve to 6-0 on the season with 4-3 win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a
match that lasted upwards of six hours on a bitter Sunday afternoon in
Lexington, Ky., the No. 9 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team
outlasted No. 8 Oklahoma by a score of 4-3, as the Wildcats improved to
6-0 on the season with the win.
“It’s a big win
for the boys,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “I told them in the
locker room that I thought we could do great things and beat some teams
in the top-10 later on in the year, or maybe mid-year, but I didn’t
think it could happen this early. I am very pleased and I am really
happy for the players.”
Kentucky (6-0, 0-0 SEC)
has been stressing the importance of the doubles point all season long,
as yet again, Kentucky claimed the all-important point with two wins in
tiebreakers to claim the early 1-0 lead in the match.
first court to go final was court two as Oklahoma’s No. 32 Guillermo
Alcorta/Axel Alvarez Llamas defeated Ryuji Hirooka and Alejandro Gomez
8-7 (6). The match went all 14 games without a break of serve as the
Wildcats’ tandem was unable to come up with the decisive point in the
tiebreak as OU took the early lead in the doubles point.
falling behind 5-2 in the match on court three, Anthony Rossi and Grant
Roberts fought their way back from a double-break deficit to get the
match back on serve at 5-5 and laterforce a tiebreak. In the tiebreak,
Rossi and Roberts stood strong as the Sooners never led in the extra
session and the Wildcats took the 8-7 (4) win, as the doubles point
would end up being decided on court one.
one, No. 35 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai were able to get ahead early with a
break of serve at 2-1 to give the duo from France and Taiwan the early
lead. The Wildcats kept the break in the match up until the Sooners
pair of Costin Paval and Dane Webb, who are ranked 12th in the nation
broke back at 5-4 to get the match leveled at 5-5. The teams would
exchange service games down the stretch, as the match wouldcome to form
with the others and go to a decisive tiebreak at 7-7. In the tiebreak,
OU led 4-3 before Kentucky rattled off three-consecutive points to gain
the mini-break to win the tiebreaker 7-5 and clinch the doubles point
“The doubles point was big for us,”
Kauffmann said. “For Oklahoma or us to take four singles matches from
each other, we knew would be really tough. Not impossible, but very
tough. It kind of gives us momentum. We tell the boys that when we take
the doubles point, it is going to be very, very tough to take four
singles from us.”
With the win in the doubles
point, UK is now 6-0 on the season in the doubles point and has won 16
of the 18 matches played in doubles this season.
singles, Oklahoma (4-1, 0-0 Big XII) would strike first and even the
match up at 1-1 as on court three, No. 71 Dane Webb outlasted No. 97
Alejandro Gomez in a three-set match 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Gomez struggled in
the opening set, and was down 0-3 in the second setbefore rallying and
winning six of the last nine games of the second set toforce the match
to a decisive third frame. In the final set, Gomez served first and it
was 2-2 before Webb broke to make it 4-2 and take the lead in the final
frame. As the final set closed, Webb broke Gomez out to close the third
set at 6-3.
No. 15 Tom Jomby would quickly give
Kentucky the lead back with a straight-set 6-4, 7-5 win over the
top-ranked Sooner on court today, No. 36 Guillermo Alcorta. Jomby was
up 3-0 early in the opening set, and even 4-1 before Alcorta took back
a break to level the set at 4-4. Jomby held serve at four all before
capturing double break point a 5-4 and clinching the opening set 6-4.
In the second set, Jomby again picked up the early break of serve to go
up 2-0 and the two exchangesservice games up until Jomby broke Webb at
6-5 and took the second set 7-5.
currently ranked No. 15 in the nation, and with the win today hoists a
record of 5-0 on the season with wins over two ranked players.
struck back again to equal the match and make it 2-2 as Axel Alvarez
Llamas defeated Juan Pablo Murra 7-6 (2), 6-3. Murra was down 5-4 in
the opening set before coming back to force a tiebreak. Llamas took the
tiebreak 7-2 and rolled in the second set 6-3 to give the Sooners their
second point of the afternoon and square the match at two all.
Sooners would take their first lead of the afternoon as No. 103 Costin
Poval knocked off Anthony Rossi 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a three setter that
took 2:35 to play. Rossi came out of the gates strong, breaking Poval
twice in the opening set to pick up a 6-2 win in the frame. Poval then
climbed back into the match picking up a 6-4 win in the second stanza
to send the match to a decisive third set. In the final frame, Rossi
picked up a break at 1-0, and raced out to a 4-1 lead in the set with
the break. OU’s Paval would then rattle off the final five games of the
match, breaking Rossi three times to claim the final set 6-4 and give
OU the momentary 3-2 lead in the match.
match grew older, Kentucky sent two players out that Kauffmann has
confidence in, as Charles Minc and Grant Roberts took the stage in the
third wave of players as UK needed two wins to clinch the match out of
the No. 5 and No. 6 courts.
Minc easily won his
match 6-2, 6-2 in just 1:17 minutes to level the score at three all in
the match overall. Minc and Peerakit Siributwong of Oklahoma were
knotted at two in the opening set before Minc broke at 3-2 and then won
the final three games of the set to take the opening frame 6-2. The
second set saw more of the same as Minc broke at 3-2 and won the last
few games to easily shut down any chance of Siributwong getting back
into the match.
“Charles has been a really good
surprise for us,” Kauffmann said. “He is just playing really, really
well and its kind of a nerve-racking situation to just throw them out
on the third wave of players. He is handling that as a champ.”
win for UK on court five set the stage for Lexington, Ky., native Grant
Roberts to give the Wildcats thecome-from-behind 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over
“My mindset walking on was to
just go out there and play,” Roberts said. “I didn’t really want to
think about the score and off of that stuff. I love the pressure
situation, and that’s why I play the No. 6 slot. I just kind of went
out there and did it.”
The first set in the match
went to Stakhovsky after he trailed Roberts 3-0 to start. The opening
framestayed on serve up until 5-4 when Stakhovsky broke Roberts after
six deuces to capitalize and take the set 6-4.
the second frame, everything was on serve at 2-2 before Roberts picked
up the break to lead 4-2 in the set and was looking to force a decisive
frame. Stakhovsky broke Roberts at 5-3 to get the match back on serve
for the time being at 5-4, but Roberts stayed in every point and didn’t
buckle, as Stakhovsky dropped his serve to Roberts to end the set and
the Tates Creek High School alum forced a decisive frame that would not
only decide his match, but the match overall.
the final frame, Roberts served first and dropped his serve right off
the bat and was behind the eight ball. At 1-3, with Stakhovsky for OU
leading, Roberts had a massive hold after four deuces and battled his
way to get the match back on serve with a break at 3-3.
just wanted to get the bulldog mentality after I got things back on
serve,” Roberts said. “I wanted to have that fight and will to win. I
saw he was getting a little tired and was putting his hands on his
knees and bending over. I just wanted to battle and give everything I
After Roberts made it 4-3 with a hold, the
two would exchange holds up until Roberts held at 6-5 and made
Stakhovsky serve to stay in the match. Roberts forced Stakhovsky into a
deuce and picked up the advantage right off the bat in the deuce game.
At match point, Roberts watched a Stakhovsky forehand sail wide of the
volley and the junior clinched the point for the Wildcats as Roberts
won in an epic three-set affair, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
is a huge win for us,” Roberts said. “This is going to help our ranking
with other teams losing, but it’s a really good win for us. That was a
big win today and I am proud of the way we fought for it.”
has made some sacrifices to be where he is at,” Kauffmann said. “Plain
and simple. That is why we put him at court six and in these
situations. We believe he can handle the nerves. I am really proud of
the sacrifices he has given.”
“We had some guys
really step up in this match who we hadn’t really needed all year,” UK
assistant coach Matt Emery said. “Our freshman did a good job again of
in a big match, coming out and playing really well. Grant has been rock
solid at six, and that is why we trust him so much at that six spot.”
with the win improves to 6-0, and will next take a trip to the site of
the 2013 NCAA Championships as the Wildcats will take on No. 25
Illinois in a match on Sunday Feb. 9 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
No. 9 Kentucky 4, No. 8 Oklahoma 3
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center – Lexington, Ky.
February 3, 2013
Match duration: 6:53
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*)
1- No. 35 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) def. No. 12 Costin Paval/Dane Webb (OU) 8-7 (5)
2- No. 32 Guillermo Alcorta/Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) def. Ryuji Hirooka/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 8-7 (6)
3- Anthony Rossi/Grant Roberts (UK) def. Peerakit Siributwong/Leonard Stakhovsky (OU) 8-7 (4)
Singles (Order of finish: 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 6*)
1- No. 103 Costin Poval (OU) def. No. 94 Anthony Rossi (UK) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
2- No. 15 Tom Jomby (UK) def. No. 36 Guillermo Alcorta (OU) 6-4, 7-5
3- No. 71 Dane Webb (OU) def. No. 97 Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
4- Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) def. Juan Pablo Murra (UK) 7-6 (2), 6-3
5- Charles Minc (UK) def. Peerakit Siributwong (OU) 6-2, 6-2
6- Grant Roberts (UK) def. Leonard Stakhovsky (OU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5