Lai Stays Undefeated in No. 5 Kentucky's 6-1 Loss
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The fifth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team was defeated by the No. 38 Baylor Bears 6-1 in Waco, Texas on Friday afternoon at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Baylor.
"Baylor beat us fair and square today," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "They competed harder than we did and I thought they wanted it more than our guys did. We did not come out ready to play for the doubles and that gave Baylor the momentum heading into singles, where they won five of the six first sets. We started to play better at 3-0, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole to climb out of against a team like Baylor."
The loss was the first in five matches for the Wildcats, and also just the third all season.
Baylor came out strong in the doubles point and was just the third team all season to snatch away the point away from the Wildcats. Baylor got the win via victories on courts two and three to clinch the point.
In singles play, the only win for Kentucky came on court six as Kevin Lai nestled away a three-set win over Roberto Maytin of Baylor 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-2. The win for Lai on court six was his fourth on the year as he moved to 4-0 in singles play at court six. Overall on the season, Lai moved to 7-0 in singles play.
No. 21 Anthony Rossi of Kentucky dropped the opening set 6-4 before picking up a break in the second set to get the 6-4 win in the second frame to force a decisive set on court one with No. 122 Patrick Pradella. Pradella came away with the tiebreaker 7-3, as the match had been clinched by the Bears before the third set began preventing a full third set.
The Bears started fast in the match as Baylor took five of the six opening sets in singles, which helped carry over the momentum from doubles and make it extremely difficult for Kentucky to overcome the deficit.
Kentucky is back in action on Sunday as the Wildcats return to SEC play in College Station as UK will take on No. 14 Texas A&M. The match will be the 13th this season against a top-50 opponent.
The Wildcats enter Sunday's match with No. 14 Texas A&M with a 2-2 overall record against the Aggies, as this will be the fifth all-time meeting between the new SEC foes. The last meeting between the two squads came a year ago at the National Indoors as UK downed the Aggies 4-0 in the round of 16.
"We will regroup, learn from this, and come out ready to play against a very good Texas A&M team on Sunday." Kauffmann said.
Match time on Saturday is 2:00 p.m. ET against Texas A&M.
No. 38 Baylor 6, No. 5 Kentucky 1
Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center - Waco, Texas
Singles: (Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2*, 5 ,6, 1)
1- No. 122 Patrick Pradella (BU) def. No. 21 Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (7-3)
2- No. 43 Julian Lenz (BU) def. No. 18 Tom Jomby (UK) 6-4, 7-5
3- Tony Lupieri (BU) def. Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-2, 6-3
4- No. 78 Mate Zsiga (BU) def. Charles Minc (UK) 6-1, 6-3
5- No. 77 Marko Krickovic (BU) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (7-0)
6- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Roberto Maytin (BU) 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-2
Doubles: (Order of finish: 3, 2*)
1- Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) vs. No. 19 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) unfinished
2- Diego Galeano/Marko Krickovic (BU) def. Alejandro Gomez/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) 8-4
3- No. 53 Patrick Pradella/Julian Lenz (BU) def. Anthony Rossi/Grant Roberts (UK) 8-4