MADISON, April 23, 2019 (Press Release)
The No. 15 Fighting Illini men’s tennis team concluded the regular season with their 10th conference win, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon. Illinois capped off the regular season with a 16-7 overall record and 10-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Illini continues to lead the overall series against the Badgers, 60-29.
“Our veterans had a strong presence today,” said head coach Brad Dancer. The guys that have been in these situations and understand Big Ten road trips came to play and carried the day. Aleks (Kovacevic) played with great hunger, while Alex (Brown) had great composure. Zeke (Clark) was dialed in and didn’t let little things that went against him bother him.”
The Illini grabbed the doubles point with wins in the No. 1 and 2 positions. In the No. 1 position, junior Aleks Kovacevic and sophomore Alex Brown topped Osgar O’Hoisin and Jared Pratt, 6-1. Junior Vuk Budic and redshirt sophomore Gui Gomes clinched their fourth doubles point of the season with a win over Jesper Freimuth and Lenard Soha, 6-3.
In singles play, Kovacevic was the first one off the court defeating Osgar O’Hoisin, 6-3, 6-0. Wisconsin picked up their first point of the match with a win on court five. Brown defeated Jesper Freimuth in a three-set thriller, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Junior Zeke Clark clinched the match for the Illini with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Chase Colton. The match played out after the Orange and Blue clinched the match 4-1 with Wisconsin grabbing wins on courts six and four.
“It is postseason time now,” noted Dancer. “Every match has that added pressure. Win or go home!”
Ready for some “Tennis Madness” in Ann Arbor! 🎾😤
— Illinois M Tennis (@IlliniMTennis) 22. April 2019
The Orange and Blue will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. for the 2019 Big Ten Tournament this week. Illinois enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face the winner of the No. 7 seed Northwestern vs. No. 10 seed Purdue match held on Thursday afternoon.
Illinois has earned 18 Big Ten titles in program history, including when the Illini hosted the event in 2015. Last season, Illinois finished as the runner-up after falling to Ohio State, 4-0.
#15 Illinois 4, Wisconsin 3
Singles competition: Order of finish (6,5,3,1,4,2)
1. #8 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Osgar O’Hoisin (WIS) 6-3, 6-0
2. #54 Alex Brown (UI) def. Jesper Freimuth (WIS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Zeke Clark (UI) def. Chase Colton (WIS) 6-4, 6-4
4. Jared Pratt (WIS) def. S. Montsi (UI) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
5. Lenard Soha (WIS) def. Keenan Mayo (UI) 6-4, 7-6
6. Robert Krill (WIS) def. Vuk Budic (UI) 6-3, 7-6
Doubles competition: Order of finish (1,2)
1. #46 Alex Brown/Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Osgar O’Hoisin/Jared Pratt (WIS) 6-1
2. Vuk Budic/Gui Gomes (UI) def. Jesper Freimuth/Lenard Soha (WIS) 6-3
3. Robert Krill/Chase Colton (WIS) vs. Fletcher Scott/Keenan Mayo (UI) 4-4, unfinished
Illinois 16-7, 10-1 B1G; National ranking #15
Wisconsin 10-11, 4-7 B1G