Illinois men’s tennis concludes fall season as Illini duo win Louisville Winter Tournament doubles competition


Photo Courtesy of Illinois Mens Tennis Twitter

Hunter Heck, Kweisi Kenyatte, Alex Pretrov, and Nic Meister cheer for a fellow teammate at the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Championships. The Illinois men’s tennis team ended their fall season with success.

After what was a productive fall season for the Illini, the team ended their last weekend of competition on a high note.

Four Illini made their way to East Lansing, Michigan, earlier this week to compete in the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Championships. 

Sophomore Alex Petrov’s singles run in East Lansing started by winning his round of 128 matchup (7-5, 6-1) and his round of 64 match (6-3, 6-1). Petrov was then knocked out of singles play after losing his round of 32 match (6-2, 7-6(4)). Following Petrov, senior Kweisi Kenyatte started his singles run off hot with back-to-back wins (6-1, 7-5) and (6-2, 6-0). In the round of 32, Kenyatte suffered the same fate as Petrov and was knocked out after losing (7-6(3), 6-2).

Redshirt junior Nic Meister was next up for the Illini and performed similarly to the two before him. Meister won a hard-fought round of 128 match, winning the first set, 6-3, losing the next set, 7-5, and winning the tiebreaker, 10-8. In the round of 64, Meister won another tiebreaker, losing the first set, 6-2, winning the next set, 6-1, and winning the tiebreaker, 11-9. Meister’s run came to an end in the round of 32, losing to the eventual singles bracket winner (6-2, 6-1).

The most success the Illini found in East Lansing came from redshirt junior Siphosothando Montsi, who made it to the quarterfinals of the singles bracket. Montsi started his tournament with a first-round bye, immediately being granted a berth into the round of 64. Montsi won his first match (6-3, 6-4), moving him to the round of 32, where he found a tough match waiting for him.

He won his round of 32 match after losing the first set, 7-5, winning the next, 6-1, and winning his tiebreaker, 10-7. Montsi’s next match was won by a score of 5-2 while his opponent had to retire due to injury, but his run came to an end in the quarterfinals in tough fashion, losing the first set, 7-6(2), winning the next set, 6-4 and losing the tiebreaker, 10-6. This brought the Illini’s singles weekend in East Lansing to an end.

In addition to the strong showing in East Lansing, the two Illini that featured in the Louisville Winter Tournament this weekend put their dominance on display. Sophomore Hunter Heck and redshirt sophomore Lucas Horve were sent to Louisville for extra matches before the end of the fall season but ended up making their mark on the whole competition.

In the doubles competition, Horve and Heck teamed up for a powerful run in the bracket. Starting in the round of 16, the pair breezed through their first match, winning 6-1 and putting them into the quarterfinals. The two won this match in dominant fashion as well, winning 6-2. Horve and Heck extended their win streak into the finals after winning their semifinal match, 6-3. In the finals, the pair capped off a dominant doubles run with another emphatic 6-3 victory, winning the doubles bracket.

While both Heck and Horve were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the singles bracket of the Louisville Winter Tournament, they can walk away from the weekend with more matches under their belt and a win in the doubles competition.

If the Illini were searching for a good weekend to end their fall season, this was the one to do it. Seeing many successful performances over the past few weeks, the Illini will look to carry this momentum into winter and spring competitions.


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