Illinois men’s tennis hopes to carry Opening Weekend momentum to Duke, North Carolina

By Martin O'Connor, Staff Writer

Illinois men’s tennis enjoyed success throughout the entirety of its Opening Weekend, winning all four matches they competed in. The Illini will look to carry that momentum into a pair of tough road matches this weekend. These matches will prove to be a challenge, as the last time the team played away they lost both games. 

The season started on a positive note with a 2–0 start. However, after a pair of away matches at Kentucky and Ohio State, Illinois found itself with a  2–2 record. Now, thanks to their dominant Opening Weekend play, the team has a 6–2 record, but both No. 25 Duke and No. 14 North Carolina look to be tough away challenges. 

One standout from Opening Weekend was sophomore transfer Mathis Debru. He went undefeated in all of his matches and looked dominant in both doubles and singles play. Even after experiencing great success, the transfer is still working hard to improve his game every day.

“I’m trying to get better at different things in my game,” Debru said. “I know that if I want to get better, in general, I need to make some sacrifices.”

With the busy schedule of Opening Weekend and the far-away games this weekend, the Illini have focused on preparing their bodies for their workload. As good as it can be to go all out in training, Debru noted that Illinois believes it is important for the team to avoid injuries by staying rested and relaxed outside of practice.

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    “We have been doing a lot of body care after practice, a lot of stretching,” Debru said. “When we go back home we’re just trying to go and get some good sleep, good rest in general.”

    Debru and the Illini will take on No. 25 Duke this Friday, followed by No. 14 North Carolina on Saturday.


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