LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The No. 8 Kentucky men’s tennis team has advanced to its first Elite 8 appearance since 2011 after beating No. 9 Wake Forest, 4-2 in the Super Regional match.
The Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex had to be evacuated with lightning in the area just as Kentucky took a 3-2 lead, on the brink of a clinching win when they had to sit for over an hour and eventually move inside to finish the match.
Gabriel Diallo on Court 2 and Millen Jurrion on Court 3 both held leads when they moved inside and converted those leads into wins, with Diallo finishing inside first and Jurrion clinching the match victory with a win over Eduardo Nava.
Wake Forest took the early lead with a doubles win, but the Wildcats took a 4-1 advantage in the singles competitions and held the lead in the 7th competition if they needed a tiebreaker. Liam Draxl, the 4th ranked singles player in the country, cruised to an opening win over Jurabek Karimov, 6-3, 6-1.
Wins over DePaul and Northwestern brought the Wildcats to their first Super Regional appearance since 2014 to start the NCAA tournament last weekend, and because of the No. 8 ranking they earned the right to host the Sweet 16 as well.
They advance to their 5th Elite 8 in program history and now get ready to take on No. 1 TCU on Thursday down in Champaign, Illinois in the national quarterfinal match. They are seeking their first Final Four appearance in school history.