Two Illini Ready for NCAA Singles Championships

Aleks Kovacevic (photo: Fighting Illini)

URBANA, May 20, 2019 (Press Release)

Starting Monday, Fighting Illini men’s tennis junior and sophomore, Aleks Kovacevic and Alex Brown will begin their quest for an NCAA Singles Championship at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., hosted by UCF and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

This will be the first appearance for both Brown and Kovacevic in the NCAA Singles Championship. Both players stepped up to the plate for the Orange and Blue, serving as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions this season.

Heading into championship play, Kovacevic earned the No. 7 seed due to an impressive season with a 30-6 overall singles record, including 19-3 in dual-match play. Originally the No. 8 seed, Kovacevic moved up a spot after the No. 3 seed Carl Soderlund withdrew from the tournament. The First Team All-Big Ten honoree has also recorded 10 ranked wins, including four top 30 wins against Texas’ Christian Sigsgaard, Florida’s Oliver Crawford (twice), and Penn State’s Constant De La Bassetiere. Joining former Illini Michael Clalkins, Christ Martin, and Jakub Teply, the New York native matches the 17th best longest singles winning streak with 14 matches. Kovacevic currently sits in No. 10 for singles play in the current ITA National rankings.

Kovacevic recorded career-high rankings in singles and doubles this season, reaching No. 6 in singles on April 9 and No. 46 in doubles with partner Brown on April 16. The two-time Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week will take on Guanarteme Nuez of UT-Arlington in the first round on Monday night. Opening serve is set for 5:30 p.m. / 6:30 p.m. ET on court two. Kovacevic’s match will be featured on the Tennis Channel.

Two-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree, Brown has compiled a 14-10 dual match singles record and 7-1 record in conference play. Brown has recorded five ranked wins, including a top 30 win against Ohio State’s John McNally during the Big Ten Tournament final on April 28, where the Urbandale, Iowa native defeated the Buckeye in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. No. 46 ranked Brown will take on No. 42 ranked Ryotaro Matsumura from Kentucky in the first round on Monday morning. First serve is set for 10:30 a.m. CT / 11:30 a.m. ET.

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.

The Tournament Venue

The NCAA Championships will be played at United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus in Orlando, Fla. In Lake Nona, the collegiate tennis area is home to UCF men’s and women’s tennis program and features 12 hard courts with seating for 1,200 fans. It will be large enough to allow two collegiate matches to be played simultaneously. The area also will feature a two-story pavilion including concessions and locker rooms.

The USTA Player Development division aims to provide the best opportunities to succeed for the next generation of American tennis champions. This new home for American tennis will host every type of tennis event from 10-and-under team tennis events to national championships for those aged 90 and older.

Championship Schedule/Format
The NCAA Individual Championships is a six-match event for men’s and women’s doubles and singles over six days with the men’s and women’s doubles and singles champions crowned during the finals matches on Saturday, May 25.

Monday, May 20: Singles First Round – 10 a.m. CT / 11 a.m. ET

Tuesday, May 21: Singles Second Round and Doubles First Round – 10 a.m. CT / 11 a.m. ET

Wednesday, May 22: Singles and Doubles Round of 16 – 11 a.m. CT / Noon ET

Thursday, May 23: Singles and Doubles Quarterfinals – 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET

Friday, May 24: Singles and Doubles Semifinals – 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET

Saturday, May 25: Singles and Doubles Finals – 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET

*NCAA Singles and Doubles Champions (men and women) are crowned.

How to Watch – Tennis Channel Coverage

The Tennis Channel will provide live coverage of the NCAA Tennis Individual Championships beginning on May 20. Golf Channel’s coverage also will include all six matches for men’s and women’s singles and doubles.

See below for full broadcast schedule throughout the championships (all times Eastern Time). The Tennis Channel can also be viewed online at or on the Tennis Channel app.

Monday, May 20 (First Round – Singles)

4 pm – 6:30 pm: (12) matches across 12 courts

6:30 pm – 9 pm: (4) matches across 4 courts – No. 7 seed Aleks Kovacevic

9 pm – 11:30 pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

Tuesday, May 21 (Second Round – Singles and Doubles)

4pm – 6:30pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

6:30pm – 9pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

Wednesday, May 22 (Round of 16 – Singles and Doubles)

4pm – 6:30pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

6:30pm – 9pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

Thursday, May 23 (Quarterfinals – Singles and Doubles)

4pm – 6:30pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

6:30pm – 9pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

Friday, May 24 (Semifinals – Singles and Doubles)

4pm – 6:30pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

6:30pm – 9pm: (4) matches across 4 courts

Saturday, May 25 (Finals)

4pm – 8pm: Men’s Singles Final

8pm – 11pm: Women’s Singles Final