ORLANDO, May 23, 2019 (Press Release)
Illinois men’s tennis junior Aleks Kovacevic advances to the NCAA Singles Championships after 50th-ranked Bar Botzer of Wake Forest withdraws due to injury.
Kovacevic is coming off a 6-3, 7-5 victory over 65th ranked Ewan Moore of Tulane. This marked his 12th ranked win in singles play this season. The New York native improves to 21-3 in singles play since the beginning of the spring season and 32-6 overall. The No. 7 seed matches the program’s 17th best longest singles winning streak with 14 matches.
Kovacevic will face either No. 2 seed JJ Wolf or 54th-ranked Sam Riffice of Florida. Both Wolf and Riffice will be squaring off on court one at 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET on the Tennis Channel.
Wolf is a three-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree and was the unanimous 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year. Kovacevic has faced Wolf two-times this season. In Champaign, the New York native fought hard, but fell to Wolf in two tiebreakers, 6-7 (3), 6-7 (4). During the Big Ten Tournament Final, Kovacevic won against Wolf in a first set tiebreaker, 7-6(8), but the match went unfinished as the Ohio State Buckeyes claimed the Big Ten title.
Kovacevic has yet to face Riffice this season. A stellar freshman, Riffice was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and Second-Team All-SEC due to his perfect 10-0 SEC record.
Match times and court assignments for the quarterfinals will be announced later tonight.
Singles Main Draw
No. 10 (7th seed) Aleks Kovacevic
Round of 64 (May 20) – def. No. 96 Guanarteme Nuez (UT-Arlington), 6-3, 6-3
Round of 32 (May 21) – def. No. 65 Ewan Moore (Tulane), 6-3, 7-5
Round of 16 (May 22) – def. No. 50 Bar Botzer (Wake Forest), Walkover