26th Ranked Wildcats Hand Arkansas 5-2 Loss
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior and ninth ranked singles specialist Oskar Johansson captured a straight-set win in number one singles, but the Razorbacks fell short against Kentucky as the No. 26 Wildcats handed the No. 40 Hogs a 5-2 setback at the University of Arkansas Indoor Tennis Center on Wednesday afternoon in Southeastern Conference tennis action.
Kentucky (3-2) won the doubles point and four of six singles matches to secure the victory. Arkansas (2-3) dropped its second SEC match in a row following last weekend’s loss to No. 6 Georgia.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start winning two of three doubles matches to capture the first point of the match.
“We just need to find a way to get our doubles game going,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “When you start behind against the best teams in the country it’s hard to catch back up.”
Johansson made quick work of No. 45 Johan Hesoun of Kentucky with a 7-6, 6-2 decision to win at the top singles spot for the second consecutive conference match. Johansson also recorded a win on Sunday against No. 28 Maties Boeker of Georgia.
Razorback junior Henrik Tofft fought to three sets before falling to No. 11 Carlos Drada of Kentucky 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in number two singles play.
“I was proud of the way Oskar and Henrik played today,” Cox said. “Oskar beat a quality opponent and is showing why he is so highly ranked. Henrik took one of the best players in the country to three sets and had some chances to win.”
Kentucky’s Johan Grunditz outlasted Razorback sophomore Tiago Azevedo 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 in number three singles while the Wildcats’ Gustav Pousette handed Arkansas freshman Aleksey Bubis a 6-3, 6-2 defeat at the number four slot. Edo Bawono secured the number five singles match for Kentucky with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Arkansas’ sophomore Magnus Kullenberg. Razorback freshman Eduardo Pacheco won his SEC debut in a third set shortened tiebreaker (7-6, 2-6, 10-6) to gain the Hogs’ second point.
“We are still trying to find a lineup that will work for us at the lower positions,” Cox said. “Oskar and Henrik have been playing well up top, but we just need to find some guys in the lower positions to show the same intensity. Tiago fought hard today against a tough opponent. I was also proud of Eduardo winning his first big match.”
Arkansas travels to Nashville, Tenn. this weekend to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Hogs and Commodores will toss it up at Noon on Sunday in an SEC showdown.
#26 Kentucky 5, #40 Arkansas 2
# 9 Oskar Johansson (UA) d. #45 Johan Hesoun (UK) 7-6, 6-2
#11 Carlos Drada (UK) d. Henrik Tofft (UA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
Johan Grunditz (UK) d. Tiago Azevedo (UA) 6-3, 6-7, 6-1
Gustav Pousette (UK) d. Aleksey Bubis (UA) 6-3, 6-2
Edo Bawono (UK) d. Magnus Kullenberg (UA) 6-3, 6-2
Eduardo Pacheco (UA) d. Reven Stephens (UK) 7-6, 2-6 (10-6)
Bawono/Grunditz (UK) leading John Deaton/Tofft (UA) 7-4 *suspended
Hesoun/Pousette (UK) d. Chris Campbell/Pacheco (UA) 8-3
Drada/Stephens (UK) d. Bubis/Johansson (UA) 8-6
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