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    SEC Tennis Today: Friday, January 17

    No. 9 Kentucky Opens Season With Doubleheader Sweep

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 9 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with two wins on Friday afternoon, as the Wildcats blanked both the Dayton Flyers (7-0) and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (7-0) in the opening matches of the 2014 dual match season inside the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.

    “Today was a good start to the season,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “I thought we did a lot of things well and I think the offseason work that theplayers put in showed in both matches. Having said that, we know that Duke is going to provide us with a great challenge on Sunday and we are going to find out how tough we really are when we play them. But, overall, I liked what I saw today and it was a solid start to what we think will be a great season.”

    In the early match, Kentucky (2-0, 0-0 SEC) won every singles and doubles match to cap off a 7-0 win and record the Wildcats’ first win of the season, 7-0. Kentucky came out of the gates strong in the doubles point, tallying three wins in a row to complete the doubles point. On court one, Kentucky’s All-American tandem from 2013 of Kevin Lai and Tom Jomby won 6-4 after picking up an early break and cruising to a win. Senior Ryuji Hirooka teamed up with freshman Nils Ellefsen from Oslo, Norway, who was playing in his first-career match to collect a 6-2 win on court two. The doubles point was clinched on court three as seniors Alejandro Gomez and Maks Gold got up an early break and won 6-4 on court three.

    With the 1-0 lead, Kentucky pounded Dayton (0-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) in the singles competition, winning all 12 sets played, and not allowing the Flyers to win more than four games in a single set. Sophomore, and nationally ranked (No. 97) Kevin Lai clinched the match for Kentucky with a 6-3, 6-1 win on court three as he outlasted the Flyers’ Bernardo Sanson.

    Kentucky dominated the final three courts on Friday, taking 36 of the 43 games played on courts four, five and six in the match. Senior Grant Roberts only lost one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Colin Bernier, while Hirooka and Ellefsen only fell victim to losing six games combined in the match. The 6-2, 6-2 win forEllefsen over Andy Druffel on court six was Ellefsen’s first-career NCAA singles win.

    It was more of the same for the Wildcats in the second half of Friday’s doubleheader. The Wildcats only dropped one set in the match, as Kentucky collected another 7-0 win to move to 2-0 overall on the season, going 2-0 on the day.

    The highlight match of the match with Eastern Kentucky (0-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley) was a three-set affair for Jerry Lopez, who was making his NCAA debut in the Blue and White for the Wildcats. In his first-career match, the Guadalajara, Mexico, native fell behind early, dropping the first set, 6-2. Lopez then rallied to win 12 of the last 17 games of the match to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 and move to 1-0 in his career.

    The Wildcats will hit the road for their next match on Sunday afternoon at 1:00p.m. ET, with No. 9 Kentucky facing the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils in Cary, N.C.
     




    Razorbacks Open Season With Doubleheader Sweep

    ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 58 University of Arkansas men's tennis team (2-0) opened up its 2014 spring season with a sweep of Mercer (0-2) in doubleheader action in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.

    Opening the third straight season with a victory in the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center, the Razorbacks earned a 5-2 win to start, then closed out the day's work with a 6-1 victory. Senior Mike Nott led the way for Arkansas with a perfect 4-0 individual record, earning a pair of wins in both singles and doubles play.

    New head coach Andy Jackson also earned his first two wins at the helm of the Arkansas program.

    "Since I'm new and we're new to each other--the team and I--we came back a week before school started and had sort of a training camp where we played a lot," Coach Jackson said. "This week, we had done less, so we were excited to see where we stood against Mercer. You'd like to say that we're getting better and seeing improvements and I think we saw signs today. Mike Nott played really well and some others as well."

    In addition to Nott, redshirt senior Hall Fess also had a nice day going 3-1 individually in both singles and doubles play. Newcomers Juan Marino, Johan den Toom and redshirt freshman Jacob Herndon each saw action on the day, as den Toom impressed by opening with a singles victory and a pair of doubles victories alongside teammate Nott.

    Arkansas travels next to face the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 19. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.
     



    Crimson Tide Earns Nine Wins on Day One at Northwestern Invitational

    EVANSTON, Ill. – The Alabama women’s tennis team picked up nine wins on the first day of play at the Northwestern Invitational, which is being played at the Combe Tennis Center on the campus of Northwestern University. Five of the Crimson Tide’s wins came in singles, while the other four were earned in doubles.

    In singles, all five of Alabama’s victories came in straight sets against opponents from DePaul. No. 76 Danielle Spielmann topped 52nd-ranked Ana Vladutu, 7-5, 6-2, while No. 69 Emily Zabor picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win over Zaina Sufi. In her first match back this season, Maya Jansen posted a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jasmin Kling, and Natalia Maynetto a 6-3, 6-2 win over Rebeca Mitrea. Carmen Blanco added the final singles victory, topping Caroline Neumann, 7-6, 6-1.

    Erin Routliffe paired with two different partners, first Jansen then Mary Anne Daines, to win both matches in doubles. With Jansen, the duo upset 38th-ranked Vladutu and Kling, 6-4, while Routliffe and Daines topped Iowa’s Ruth Seaborne and Morven McCulloch, 6-2. Daines and Spielmann combined to beat DePaul’s Kelsey Lawson and Patricia Fargas, 6-3, and No. 44 Zabor and Blanco downed Sufi and Mitrea, 6-3.

    Match play will resume on Saturday morning at the Combe Tennis Center.

    Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.
     




    UF Women’s Tennis Enjoys Strong Opening Day at Freeman Memorial

    LAS VEGAS – Florida’s Olivia Janowicz and Kourtney Keegan both won a pair of singles matches and the doubles tandem of Keegan and Sofie Oyen won its opening round on the first day of play at the 12th annual Freeman Memorial Tennis Championships held at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the UNLV campus.

    Janowicz and Keegan advanced to the singles quarterfinals of the 32-player singles draw, while the doubles duo reached the quarterfinals of the 16-team event.

    Janowicz, ranked a career-high No. 17 in national singles rankings, defeated Duke’s Alyssa Smith6-3, 6-2 in the first round before her tough 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9) decision over North Carolina’s No. 118 Ashley Dai.

    Keegan, ranked No. 39, downed UNLV’s Kamelia Dimitrova, 6-3, 6-0, before earning a 6-0, 6-1 upset over ULCA’s No. 36 Kyle McPhillips.

    Oyen, ranked No. 27, won her first round match against UCLA’s Catherine Harrison, 6-1, 6-3, before falling to Stanford’s No. 41 Taylor Davidson.

    Keegan and Oyen began the day with a 6-3 win against North Carolina’s Tessa Lyons and Laura Slater and will face the top-ranked team of Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady of UCLA on Saturday.

    Gators Open With Mixed Results at Illini Open in Fort Myers

    Fort Myers, Fla. - The Florida men’s tennis team saw mixed results on Friday at the Illini Open in Fort Myers. The Gators won all three doubles matches that they played, but went 3-3 in singles action on the day.

    Elliott Orkin and Gordon Watson, ranked 13th nationally in doubles, continued their strong play from the fall season with a win on Friday. Stephane Piro and Mike Alford paired up for a win and Diego Hidalgo and Spencer Newman, both eligible for the spring after sitting out the fall, also won.

    This weekend marks the first time that Florida will be playing under the new experimental format that is being used by the ITA. The changes include doubles matches being played to one set of six games (previously eight).

    In singles, Newman and Watson picked up wins along with freshman Maxx Lipman. Florent Diep, Alford and Orkin all dropped their singles matches on Friday.

    Action will continue on Saturday at 10 a.m. with more doubles play, followed by singles.

    As results from the weekend are made available, they will be posted on GatorZone.com.
     




    Commodores wrap up first day of Miami Invitational

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Vanderbilt women's tennis team opened play Friday at the Miami Invitational hosted by the University of Miami. The Commodores closed the first day of action going 4-4 in singles play against No. 8 Miami and 1-2 in doubles against No. 31 Memphis.

    Freshman Astra Sharma made her collegiate debut winning in straight sets over Victoria Zukowski of Miami, 7-6, 6-2.

    The bottom of the 'Dores lineup played well. Frances Altick, Marie Casares and No. 48 Georgina Sellyn all picked up wins, joining Sharma.

    Altick and Sellyn both won in straight sets, while Casares had to work a bit harder. The junior won the first set 7-5 before dropping the second set 6-1. It was in the third set Casares pulled it out, winning 11-9 in the breaker.

    No. 78 Sydney Campbell, No. 61 Lauren Mira, No. 102 Ashleigh Antal and Courtney Colton each dropped their first match of the spring.

    In doubles play, the Commodores took on the 31st-ranked Memphis Tigers, finishing the day with a record of 1-2.

    The lone doubles win came from Colton and Casares who won 6-4 over Memphis' Keykendall and Tymchenko.

    No. 28 Campbell and Antal dropped their match 6-3 to Hibberd and Wegner.

    Saturday's action will begin at 9:00 a.m., eastern time, with doubles against Texas. Singles play against Memphis will begin after the conclusion of doubles.