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Kentucky Women’s Tennis Inks Three in Early Signing Period

Kentucky Women’s Tennis Inks Three in Early Signing Period

The Wildcats added Alexis Merrill, Yang Lee and sophomore transfer Diana Tkachenko

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s tennis has signed Yang Lee and Alexis Merrill to National Letters of Intent, and added sophomore transfer Diana Tkachenko, head coach Carlos Dradá announced Friday afternoon. Merrill and Yang will join the roster in the fall of 2018, while Tkachenko will arrive on campus in January.

“We are very excited about each and every one of our new recruits,” said Dradá. “I am confident that they will continue to grow and excel with our team’s guiding principles and philosophies. These recruits all know what the team’s expectations are. They know they signed to be a part of an elite program and they will be coming here to contribute and expand on our tradition of excellence.”

Yang Lee – Taichung, Taiwan

Dah-Chin Commercial & Industrial Vocational High School

–          Left handed

–          Currently trains in Switzerland

–          Ranked as high as No. 37 by ITF world junior rankings

–          Was ranked as high as No. 1,047 by WTA rankings

–          Brings lots of international experience

 Dradá on Lee: “Yang is a player of great skill and poise on the court. When I first saw Yang compete, I was highly impressed with her mental toughness and hunger level at SUCH a young age. Now, her skillset has improved dramatically and I am excited to see her continued future success.”

Alexis Merrill – Fairfax, Va.

W.T. Woodson High School

–          Five-star recruit by

–          Right handed

–          No. 63 recruit overall in class of 2018

–          No. 2 recruit from Virginia

–          2017 Washington Post All-Met Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year

–          2016 and 2017 Virginia 6A singles and doubles state champion

Dradá on Merrill: “Lexi brings a lot of fire power and on-court aggressiveness, coupled with a strong desire to compete and win the right way. Lexi’s best tennis years are about to happen and we are excited they will happen at the University of Kentucky.”

Diana Tkachenko – Moscow, Russia

UGRA Boarding School of Olympic Reserve/University of Evansville

–          2017 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year

–          Recorded 33-8 singles record at Evansville in 2016-17

–          Ranked No. 20 in Ohio Valley Region in 2017

–          Was ranked as high as No. 1,611 by ITF

–          Right handed

Dradá on Tkachenko: “Diana is a player of high-level athleticism and hunger. I am excited to see her thrive under our high-level environment. Because of her mental toughness, I see no limits in her future accomplishments.”

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook at and on the web at


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