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Current Wildcats Have Great Opening Day

Three Current Kentucky Wildcats Book Spots in Second Round

Action continues on Sunday at Boone Tennis Center


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis program had a strong showing on Saturday afternoon at the Boone Tennis Center, going three-for-three in its trio of qualifying matches to push three current Wildcats into the second round of qualifications.


Enzo Wallart (FRA), Nils Ellefsen (NOR) and Trey Yates (USA), all current UK players, all advanced with straight-set wins on Saturday. The most noteworthy moments of the day may have been who did not win, as former UK men’s basketball All-American Kyle Macy made his Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships debut against Yates. Macy, who now does work for the SEC Network and ESPN, dropped a 6-0, 6-0 decision at the age of 60 to the 21-year old Yates.


Third-seeded Ryan Haviland dispatched fellow American Tristan McCormick (USA) in just one hour and nine minutes to start the day. Habiland was the highest-seeded player in action on Saturday afternoon – with the top two seeds earning a bye into Sunday’s second round.


Enzo Wallart (FRA) did not drop serve at all in the first set on Saturday afternoon, and came back from an early break down in the second set to take the frame 7-5 and close out a straight-sets win over seventh-seeded Jordan Parker (USA) on court two. Wallart served at 68 percent and won 71 percent of the points on his first serve.


Nils Ellefsen fought off challenger and eighth-seeded Robert Galloway (USA) 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets. Ellefsen gathered an early break in the first set, but that was quickly relinquished to formulate a tight first set. The Norwegian victor then got a break at four all to serve out a 6-4 first set win. Ellefsen won the first three games of the second set and cruised to a 6-4 second-set win to put a capper on the match and book his spot in the second round.


Men’s Qualifying: Opening Round

[3] Ryan Haviland (USA) def. Tristan McCormick (USA) 6-2, 6-1

[WC] Enzo Wallart (FRA) def. [7] Jordan Parker [USA] 6-4, 7-5

[WC] Nils Ellefsen (NOR) def. Robert Galloway (USA) 6-4, 6-4

[6] Trey Yates (USA) def. [WC] Kyle Macy (USA) 6-0, 6-0

Mark Verryth (AUS) def. [4] Ruan Roelofse (RSA) 6-3, 6-4

[5] Jesse Witten (USA) def. [WC] Matt Halpin (USA) 6-4, 6-3


Some of the best young tennis players in the world will once again take center stage in Lexington this summer, as the United States Tennis Association’s Pro Circuit comes to town July 31 through Aug. 1 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on the University of Kentucky’s campus. The 2017 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championship is a $75,000 challenger for the men, and $60,000 for the women – ranking it as one of the most prestigious prizes along the road to the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow this summer.


The No. 4 seed of the qualification round, Ruan Roelofse (RSA) went out in straight sets on Saturday as upset-minded Mark Verryth (AUS) won in an hour and nine minutes, using six aces and winning 94 percent of the points on his first serve to win the match.


Former All-American at Kentucky, Jesse Witten won 6-4, 6-3 in straight sets over Dunbar High School standout and local product, Matt Halpin. That match was the final on court for the day.


Tickets are available now online at the tournament’s official website, lexingtonchallenger.com – and can be purchased in week-long packages, or single-day increments. Tickets are $10 per day, and $50 for a week-long pass. The qualifying rounds are free of charge, which take place the weekend before the main draw begins.


The USTA has 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. On average, more than 1,100 men and women from 79 countries compete on the USTA Pro Circuit annually for more than $3 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points.
For more information contact:
Chris Shoals (cmsh223@uky.edu513-312-2489)

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