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Kentucky’s Liam Draxl Defeats No. 1 Player in College Tennis

Photo: @UKMensTennis

Photo: @UKMensTennis

Kentucky’s Liam Draxl, a sophomore from Canada, defeated Daniel Cukierman of USC 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.  Cukierman, a 25-year-old senior, came in ranked No. 1 in the country.  I had the pleasure of watching Cukierman play back in 2018 and his consistency and overall game were very impressive.  He has held the top spot since November 2019.

Draxl is having quite a season for the Cats.  He knocked off the No. 6 player in the country on January 31 in Kentucky’s 7-0 victory over Notre Dame.  Draxl is currently ranked No. 45 but will move up quickly.  He would have started out much higher but did not play matches in the fall.  The super sophomore came in as a highly-touted player and is living up to the hype.  He is one of five Canadian players on the roster.

The Cats fought hard against the No. 1 Trojans, falling 4-3.  The indoor match took place in Illinois as USC wanted a tune-up before the ITA indoor championship.  The doubles teams of Millen Hurrion/Yasha Zemel and Draxl/Alex LeBlanc picked up doubles wins to give Kentucky the doubles point, and Cesar
Bourgois notched a thrilling win at No. 5 singles.

The University of Southern California is a traditional tennis powerhouse. They have won nine overall team championships and five since 2009.  Kentucky falls to 9-1.  They travel to Louisville on February 14 to take on the Cards. Kentucky already holds a victory over Duke, so we might as well give our state rivals an “L” as well. The result today proves that Kentucky can play with any team in the nation.

Once the weather gets better, the matches move outdoors, and UK allows fans, you get out and watch this special team play!

Here’s a tweet about Draxl’s win.  Let’s get it trending!  What else do we have to do on an icy, nasty day?


#45 Liam Draxl Defeated #1 Daniel Cukierman 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Gabriel Diallo Lost to #19 Riley Smith 4-6, 6-2, 6-4

Millen Hurrion Lost to #26 Mor Bulis 6-3, 7-5

Joshua Lapadat Lost to Lodewijk Weststrate 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

Cesar Bourgois Defeated Bradley Frye 2-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5

Yasha Zemel Lost to Jake Sands 6-2, 6-3


Diallo/Bourgois Lost to #1 Cukierman/R Smith 6-1

Hurrion/Zemel Defeated Bulis/Jackson 6-4

Draxl/LeBlanc Defeated Frye / C Smith 6-3

Article written by Troy Howell

Follow me on twitter @ teeroyhowell

2 Comments for Kentucky’s Liam Draxl Defeats No. 1 Player in College Tennis

  1. zoupman
    7:45 am February 11, 2021 Permalink

    Very impressive.

  2. beauleonard
    12:20 pm February 11, 2021 Permalink

    Basketball? Naw, brah… We a tennis school…