Liam Draxl’s NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament run came up just short of a spot in the national championship.
Kentucky’s tennis star lost in three sets to fellow First Team All-SEC honoree Sam Riffice of Florida, who downed Draxl 7-6, 2-6, 6-1 in Thursday afternoon’s Final Four match down in Orlando. Three other times Draxl dropped the first set in his first four tournament matches, but this time his comeback effort ran out of gas in the third and final set.
Still an outstanding performance overall, Draxl’s semifinal appearance was Kentucky’s first since Eric Quigley reached the final match in 2012. Only a sophomore, Draxl will be back again next season to see if he can make it two steps further and win the whole thing. He will likely be a favorite considering he was the No. 1 overall seed this season.