Kentucky men’s tennis star Liam Draxl has been named the first ITA National Player of the Year in program history after finishing atop the final ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings.
Draxl, a native of Newmarket, Ontario, was one of two Wildcats to earn ITA All-America status in singles play, joined by fellow sophomore Gabriel Diallo. Diallo was also part of an ITA All-American doubles team alongside fifth-year senior César Bourgois.
Draxl becomes the eighth different ITA Player of the Year from the SEC and the first since back-to-back winner Matias Boeker of Georgia in 2002, while Kentucky becomes the fifth SEC school to produce an ITA Player of the Year award winner.
Draxl has held the No. 1 spot since April 11, ending his season with a 25-3 record after falling to eventual national champion Sam Riffice of Florida—who finished No. 2 in the top 125—in the NCAA Championship semifinals.
Draxl recorded a perfect 2-0 record against the nation’s top-ranked players at the time, amassing wins against the Nos. 3, 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 24, 28, 31, 38, 52, 58, 63, 64, 73 and 87 players in the final rankings and falling only to Nos. 2, 4 and 5 away from home.