Sophomore Chakravarthi Surges No. 14 Illinois To Victory Against No. 7 UCLA

Caleb Chakravarthi (photo: Fighting Illini/twitter)

CHICAGO, February 14, 2019 (Press Release)

The No. 14 Illini won the battle, 4-2, defeating No. 7 UCLA on Wednesday night at Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago. Illinois moves to 4-1 overall heading into the ITA National Indoor Championships.

“Excited for our team to come out and play focused in singles,” said head coach Brad Dancer. “UCLA has great players and coaches, so it is a huge challenge anytime you face them.”

The UCLA Bruins jumped out to an early advantage on Wednesday night with wins at No. 1 and 3 positions to secure the doubles point. Freshman Siphosothando Montsi helped Illinois earn its first team point with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ben Goldberg. Junior Aleks Kovacevic and sophomore Alex Brown helped the Illini gain the lead, 3-2. In the No. 1 position, Kovacevic earned a big win over All Pac-12 honoree, Maxime Cressy, 7-6 (5), 7-5. In position two, Brown battled through a three-setter to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 against Keegan Smith. In the end, sophomore Caleb Chakravarthi overcame a slow start to clinch the match for the Illini. He defeated Mathew Tsolakyan, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.

The No. 14 Illinois men’s tennis team continues play in the Windy City, hosting the ITA National Indoor Championships from Feb. 15-18. The No. 12 seed Illini will open the 16-team tournament with No. 5 seed Texas on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT.

“I know we can play better in spots, but overall we were resilient in our focus,” noted Dancer. “Needless to say, we are looking forward to playing in the ITA National Indoor Championships on Friday.”


Singles competition

1. #24 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 7-6 (7-5), 7-5
2. #23 Alex Brown (UI) def. Keegan Smith (UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
3. Govind Nanda (UCLA) def. #30 Zeke Clark (UI) 6-4, 7-5
4. #125 Keenan Mayo (UI) vs. Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 2-1, unfinished

5. #116 Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) def. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) 5-7, 6-0, 6-4

6. Siphosothando Montsi (UI) def. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3

Doubles competition

1. Maxime Cressy/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) 6-2

2. Keenan Mayo/Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Govind Nanda/Connor Rapp (UCLA), 6-2

3. Patrick Zahraj/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) def. Vuk Budic/Zeke Clark (UI) 6-2