The Kentucky men’s tennis team gave No. 1 Wake Forest a battle but ultimately fell 4-2 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
UK ended the dual season with a 15-13 record, while Wake Forest improved to 29-2 overall.
“Today was a tough college match and the boys competed hard,” Coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “We had some opportunities on all courts except No. 2. Wake Forest played well in some clutch moments, credit to them. Only top-five teams can do that at the level we were playing. We as a program have to do a better job through the season not to get shipped to the top-four teams in the country for the second round. This was the level of an Elite Eight match. I’m proud of the coaches, the staff and the players.”
Wake Forest began the match by taking the doubles point and grabbed a 2-0 lead when No. 66 Ryo Matsumura fell to No. 45 Borna Gojo 6-2, 6-0.
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Kentucky fought back with two victories to tie the match. Enzo Wallart earned his 12th win of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Alan Gadjiev, and No. 17 Will Bushamuka defeated No. 5 Petros Chrysochos, 6-4, 6-4 for his 14th victory.
Wake Forest finished off the Cats, however, with singles wins on courts four and three. Nils Ellefsen fell to No. 84 Christian Seraphim 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), and Beck Pennington lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to No. 13 Skander Mansouri.
Bushamuka will be back in action in the NCAA Singles Tournament in Athens, Ga., on May 24-29.
Wake Forest 4, Kentucky 2
1. #17 Will Bushamuka (UK) def. #5 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 6-4, 6-4
2. #45 Borna Gojo (WF) def. #66 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) 6-2, 6-0
3. #13 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Beck Pennington (UK) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. #84 Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. #106 Trey Yates (UK) 6-4, 6-5, unfinished
6. Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-4, 6-3
1. #4 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. #33 Enzo Wallart/Beck Pennington (UK) 6-2
2. Borna Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) vs. Will Bushamuka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) 3-5, unfinished
3. Petros Chrysochos/Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Trey Yates/Gus Benson (UK) 6-2