URBANA, May 3, 2019 (Press Release)
Just a day after the Fighting Illini men’s tennis team earned their 24th bid into the NCAA Tournament, junior Aleks Kovacevic and sophomore Alex Brown will represent the Orange and Blue at the 2019 NCAA Singles Championship in Orlando, Fla. This will be the first appearance for both Brown and Kovacevic in the NCAA Singles Championship.
The singles and doubles championships will take place May 20-25 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. Upon completion of the team competition, the top 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams will take the courts in a tournament setting to determine the nation’s best in each type of match.
All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. Like the regular-season, no-ad scoring and a seven-point tiebreaker (first to seven points, must win by two points) at six-games-all will be used for all matches.
First Team All-Big Ten honoree, Kovacevic earned the No. 8 seed in the singles championship due to an impressive season with a 28-6 overall singles record, including 17-3 in dual-match play. The No. 9 ranked singles player is 7-2 in Big Ten play and also has a 15-3 record in the No. 1 position this season. The New York native has represented the Orange and Blue in conference weekly awards, winning two Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week awards this season. He has also clinched four Illini matches and garnered 10 ranked wins during the 2019 season.
Two-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree, Brown has compiled a 13-9 dual match singles record and 7-1 record in conference play. Since Feb. 8, Brown has remained at No. 2 in the singles lineup with a 13-7 record. The Urbandale, Iowa native has clinched three matches for the Orange and Blue and earned five wins over ranked opponents in 2019. Brown is ranked No. 51 in the current ITA singles rankings. The sophomore is riding a five-match winning streak, including three singles wins this past weekend at the Big Ten Tournament.
Illinois has won four NCAA Individual titles in program history. The lone singles championship came in 2003, when Amer Delic defeated Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch, 6-4, 6-3 to claim the title in Athens, Ga.