ROSEMONT, March 27, 2019 (Press Release)
Fighting Illini junior Aleks Kovacevic was named the Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week, as announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon. Kovacevic posted three victories this past week with two at No. 1 singles and one at No. 1 doubles against No. 4 Florida, No. 42 UCF, and Purdue.
Last Wednesday, the New York native defeated Florida’s No. 15 Oliver Crawford for the second time this season, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Facing UCF for the first time in program history, Kovacevic continued his winning ways on Friday, March 22, defeating No. 38 Gabriel Decamps, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. This helped Illinois pick up their first program win over the Knights. Paired with sophomore Alex Brown for the second-time this season, the duo clinched the doubles point with a 6-1 victory over Purdue’s Mateo Julio and Dominik Sochurek this past Sunday. This marked the fourth time Kovacevic has clinched the doubles point for Illinois. The point also contributed to the Illini’s Sunday sweep (4-0) against Purdue to keep the team undefeated in conference play (3-0).
The conference honor marks the second of the season for Kovacevic and the Illini men’s tennis squad. He last won the award on January 22, 2019. Kovacevic currently sits at No. 14 in the ITA Rankings with a perfect 10-0 in singles play, including six victories over ranked opponents during the dual match season. The junior stands 8-0 overall on the season at No. 1 singles and has an undefeated 4-0 record when participating in three sets during singles play.
Illinois continues Big Ten play at Atkins Tennis Center for a two-match homestand beginning at Noon CT for both days with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday and the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday. The Illini have a perfect 7-0 record against the Cornhuskers, while they have a 25-game winning streak against the Hawkeyes including a perfect 13-0 record under Dancer.