LEXINGTON, Ky. - With wins in every match of the afternoon, including court one, in which senior Anthony Rossi picked up his 99th-career win, the eighth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team shut out No. 31 Alabama 7-0 on a splendid spring day at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.
"It's always good to get an SEC win, and always important to protect your home court," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "For as well as we played today, we will have to be even better on Sunday for Auburn."
Kentucky came out firing on all cylinders in the doubles point as the Wildcats clinched the point with wins on courts one and three. On court three, Kentucky raced out to an early lead with the new doubles duo of Ryuji Hirooka and Beck Pennington, as they picked up an 8-1 win over Stuart Kenyon and Phil Tsangarides of the Crimson Tide. In the win, Kentucky only faced three break points as the match was finished in a swift 34 minutes.
On court one, No. 19 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai knocked off No. 49 Jarryd Botha/David Vieyra of Alabama to clinch the point. The Wildcats fell down 3-1 and an early break before winning the next three games to make it 4-4, when Jomby and Lai broke the Tide at 5-4 to go up 6-4, where they would hold serve in the final games to win the match 8-5.
Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts played two doubles for the first time all season against Backer O'Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura of Alabama. The match was 4-4 at the time UK clinched the doubles point.
Lai would give Kentucky the 2-0 lead swiftly as he picked up a straight-sets 6-3, 6-1 win over Carlos Taborga of Alabama on court five. The win for Lai was his 10th of the season as he improves to 10-1 on the season in singles competition. Lai went up 3-1, before Taborga squared the match at 3-3 in the opening set. Lai would hold to go up 4-3 and then broke to win the set 6-3 after wining the final three games of the set. In the second set, Lai got the triple-break lead at 5-0 and held on to win 6-1.
Jomby made it 3-0 with an easy win on court two over No. 91 Becker O'Shaughnessey 7-6 (2), 6-3. Jomby served for the opening set at 5-4, before being broken and then the set was sent into a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Jomby got the swift mini-break of serve and won 7-2 in the tiebreak after winning the final four points of the set.
Grant Roberts clinched the match on court four just moments after Jomby won his match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Stuart Kenyon of the Tide. Roberts picked up the break of serve at 3-2, where the rest of the opening set would hold to form as Roberts broke in the final game to take the set 6-3. In the second set, Roberts fell down the early break at 2-0 before breaking back at 3-1 and then again at 3-3 to take the 5-3 lead. Roberts would serve the match out after an extended deuce game, and claim the 6-2, 6-3 win.
No. 18 Anthony Rossi picked up his 99th-career win as he sailed past No. 69 Jarryd Botha of Alabama 6-4, 6-4. Rossi was broken early in the match at 1-0 before breaking back at 1-1 and then picking up a break at 4-3 to go up 5-3. With smooth serving down the stretch and winning the long rallies and crucial points, Rossi held on for the easy 6-4, 6-4 win. With the win, Rossi will have the chance to become the 15th player in UK Tennis history to surpass the 100-win mark and move into the record books.
The Wildcats made it 6-0 with a win on court six as Beck Pennington won on court six 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). Pennington was down 6-2, 0-2, or a set and a break, before rallying to win six-consecutive games to close out the second set and take it 6-2. In the third set, Pennington was broken at 5-5 before breaking back to force a tiebreak at 6-6. In the tiebreak, Pennington got up 4-2 and then again at 6-4 before closing out the match 7-4 in the tiebreak.
The final match was on court three as Chrales Minc fought back from a sets' deficit to claim a 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (11) win over Danill Proskura. Minc fought off two match points in the tiebreaker at 9-8 and 10-9 before picking up a match point at 12-11 to win the match.
"I was really proud of the way Beck Pennington and Charles Minc fought through adversity to get the wins." Kauffmann said. "I know they picked up a lot of confidence today and I hope that carries over into the rest of the SEC season."
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday afternoon as the Wildcats will take on No. 32 Auburn in Lexington at 1:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
No. 8 Kentucky 7, No. 31 Alabama 0
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.
March 29, 2013
Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 1*)
1- No. 19 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) def. No. 49 Jarryd Botha/David Vieyra (ALA) 8-5
2- Grant Roberts/Anthony Rossi (UK) vs. Backer O'Shaughnessey/Daniil Proskura (ALA) 4-4 (Abd.)
3- Beck Pennington/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) def. Stuart Kenyon/Phil Trangarides (ALA) 8-1
Singles (Order of finish: 5, 2, 4*, 1, 6, 3)
1- No. 18 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. No. 69 Jarryd Botha (ALA) 6-4, 6-4
2- No. 24 Tom Jomby (UK) def. No. 91 Becker O'Shaughnessey (ALA) 7-6 (2), 6-3
3- Charles Minc (UK) def. Danill Proskura (ALA) 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (11)
4- Grant Roberts (UK) def. Stuart Kenyon (ALA) 6-2, 6-3
5- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Carlos Toborga (ALA) 6-3, 6-1
6- Beck Pennington (UK) def. Harris Barnard (ALA) 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4)
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