URBANA, May 31, 2019 (Press Release)
Junior Aleks Kovacevic adds 2019 ITA All-America singles honors to his growing list of accomplishments, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Thursday afternoon. Kovacevic earned the honor after reaching the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championships.
Kovacevic becomes the 20th Illini in program history to earn All-America honors the 10th under 14th year head coach Brad Dancer. This also marks the eighth consecutive year the Orange and Blue were represented on the All-American list.
The New York native played at the top of the Illini lineup after the second match of the season and continued to raise his game to new levels. Kovacevic concluded his impressive junior season with a 24-4 record in singles play since the beginning of spring season and 34-7 overall. The 34 victories rank him 12th overall in program history for the most singles wins in a season with former Illini All-American Brian Wilson. The New York native also matched the program’s 6th best longest singles winning streak with 15 matches.
Kovacevic concluded the season as the third Illini in program history to reach the semifinals at the NCAA Singles Championships and first since Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer, Kevin Anderson, in 2007. Also collecting major hardware, Kovacevic earned Unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten honors for the first time in his career and was the 2018 ITA Midwest Regional Singles Champion. During the season, he was a two-time Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week (Jan. 22 and March 26).
He was also finished the season ranked 12th nationally in the final ITA singles rankings and reached a career-high this season at No. 6 (April 9). Kovacevic recorded 14 wins over ranked opponents, five in the top 30. Based on the year-end ITA rankings, Kovacevic defeated a total of 17 ranked players, included No. 7 Oliver Crawford, who he defeated twice this season.
Academically, Kovacevic is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Kovacevic joins second-ranked JJ Wolf of Ohio State as the only two Big Ten Players earning All-America honors in singles for the 2018-19 season.