Kovacevic Earns All-America Honor; Advances To NCAA Singles Sweet Sixteen

Aleks Kovacevic (photo: Fighting Illini)

ORLANDO, May 22, 2019 (Press Release)

Illinois men’s tennis junior Aleks Kovacevic advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Singles Championships, securing All-America honors. Ranked No. 46 in the latest Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s rankings, sophomore Alex Brown was eliminated earlier today.

“Excited for Kova to advance,” said head coach Brad Dancer. “Nothing comes easy in this tournament and every day gets tougher. He will have another good test tomorrow”.

Kovacevic’s 6-3, 7-5 victory over 65th ranked Ewan Moore of Tulane was 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 50th ranked Bar Botzer from Wake Forest on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET and will broadcast live on the Tennis Channel.

Botzer is a member of the Wake Forest squad that finished as runner-up during the team national championship earlier in the week. The All-ACC honoree was 25-2 during dual singles play this season, with an undefeated 8-0 record in the No. 2 position.

Brown fell to Hady Habib of Texas A&M, 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 3-6, in the evening. Brown finished the season with a 15-11 dual match singles record and recorded six ranked wins, including a top 30 win against Ohio State’s John McNally during the Big Ten Tournament final on April 28.

“Alex (Brown) showed great mental toughness this year,” noted Dancer. “I love his composure and he came up big in so many team matches. He was right there to take that match today but couldn’t quite close it out. I know he is eager to attack this summer.”

Singles Main Draw

No. 46 Alex Brown
Round of 64 (May 20) – def. No. 42 Ryo Matsumura (Kentucky), 6-3, 6-1

Round of 32 (May 21) – fell to No. 58 Hady Habib (Texas A&M), 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 3-6

No. 10 Aleks Kovacevic
Round of 64 (May 20) – def. No. 96 Guanarteme Nuez (UT-Arlington), 6-3, 6-3

Round of 32 (May 21) – def. 65 Ewan Moore (Tulane), 6-3, 7-5