The No. 23 Kentucky women’s tennis team (15-3, Southeastern Conference 5-3) defeated Florida for the first time since 2009, robbing a 4-3 finish on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.
UK dropped its third straight doubles point on Friday, allowing Florida to take an early lead. UF’s Tsveta Dimitrova and Ida Jarlskog defeated junior Diana Tkachenko and freshman Tiphanie Fiquet on court two, 6-2. Then, Gators’ Anastasia Kharitonov and Marlee Zein defeated redshirt-sophomore Lesedi Jacobs and freshman Alexis Merrill on court three, 6-4.
It was the first time this season that D. Tkachenko and Fiquet were paired, as well as Jacobs and Merrill. No. 14 Justina Mikulskyte’s and Akvilė Paražinskaitė’s five-match win streak remains intact as their match retired.
The Wildcats didn’t trail Florida for long, as junior D. Tkachenko handled her singles match on court five in a 6-1, 6-1 outcome. Also in the winning column, No. 35 Mikulskyte upset No. 16 Ida Jarlskog, 6-3, 6-4. The Lithuania native is now 5-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. Paražinskaitė defeated Marlee Zein on court four, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Then, junior Anastasia Tkachenko sealed the deal when she rallied past Sydney Berlin on court No. 6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Jacobs snapped her eight-match win streak when she dropped to No. 38 McCartney Kessler on court No. 2, 6-3, 7-5. Freshman Tiphanie Fiquet lost only her second singles match this season, falling to No. 67 Victoria Emma, 6-3, 6-4.
Kentucky moves to a 3-41 all-time mark against Florida.
In its next appearance, the Kentucky women’s tennis team will host No. 6 South Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.
– GO CATS –
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