The Daily Illini

Tennis requires change to return after spring season cancellation

The Illinois Women's Tennis team huddles before the match against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

July 7, 2020

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the college tennis season halted almost instantly. Returning to play, however, is going to require a slow, methodical approach that may result in the sport looking different than it ever has before.  Fortunately, the NCAA has a blueprint to look off of in the fo...

Team of the century: 2003 Illini men’s tennis go undefeated, win NCAA singles, doubles, team titles

Rajeev Ram smiles after winning the Australian Open’s men’s doubles competition on Feb. 2. Ram won the mixed doubles competition in the same tournament in 2019.

By Luca Ripani, Staff Writer

May 21, 2020

When assessing the past twenty years of Illinois men’s tennis, the clear standout is the 2003 season. The team’s perfect 32-0 record not only led them to the NCAA team championship, but also to the doubles and singles titles. This feat captured the coveted “triple crown” for the Illini, only...

Illinois prepares for uncertain future, possible fall season delays

Illinois' Alex Brown gets ready to return the ball during the match against Penn State at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, April 12, 2019. The Illini won 4-3.

By Luca Ripani, Staff Writer

May 1, 2020

Along with the sudden cancellation of the spring season, the Illinois men’s tennis team has been preparing for further event postponement, including the possibility of fall competition being canceled or delayed. This likely includes the cancellation of summer training and conditioning events. Hea...

Former Illini, Olympic silver medalist Ram reflects on NCAA championships, career

Joe Salisbury (left) and Rajeev Ram (right) pose with their trophy after the pair won the Australian Open men’s doubles competition on Feb. 2. The win was Ram’s first men’s doubles Grand Slam title.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

April 19, 2020

In 2003, the Illinois men’s tennis team had their best season in program history, going undefeated and winning the Big Ten and NCAA Championship title. Though the Illini also won singles and doubles titles that year, one player from that historic season continues to dominate at the professional le...

Illini of the season: Kovacevic, Brown show dominance of program

Illinois' Alex Brown prepares to return the ball during the match against Penn State at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, April 12, 2019. The Illini won 4-3.

By Luca Ripani, Staff Writer

April 9, 2020

Despite a challenging start to the season, the Illinois men’s tennis team was beginning to gain momentum, heading into conference play with a perfect 2-0 record. The season had many bright spots despite being cut short, with many players standing out in singles and doubles play. Now that the season i...

Clark rises to 100 wins following back-to-back victories

Illinois Women's Tennis Head Coach Evan Clark, wearing a white hat and sunglasses, huddles with his team before matches begin during a meet against Arizona State on May 4, 2019.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

April 2, 2020

On Jan. 26, the Illinois women’s tennis team began its spring season triumphantly at home by winning both matches in a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan and Eastern Illinois. On the surface, the wins were almost an expectation for Illinois; the team had lost just two home games in their previou...

Illini focus on resilience after abrupt end to season

Junior Alex Brown and senior Aleks Kovacevic rest between sets as head coach Brad Dancer encourages them during a doubles match against Baylor Feb. 29. After their season was abruptly cancelled, the players are focusing on directing their disappointment to empower their futures.

By Luca Ripani, Staff Writer

March 21, 2020

The Illinois men's tennis team was stunned by the recent news of the cancellation of their season by the NCAA, in addition to the cancellation of all sports for the rest of the year in an effort to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The team had just sped out to a 2-0 conference start, inclu...

Illinois ekes out road win against No. 23 Northwestern

Senior Aleks Kovacevic prepares to return the ball against Chicago State on Feb. 15. Illinois won the match, 4-0.

By Luca Ripani, Staff writer

March 9, 2020

The Illinois men’s tennis team picked up its first ranked win of the spring season on Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the No. 23 Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston. The Illini move to 4-6 on the season and 1-0 in Big Ten play following Saturday’s win. The Illini raced out to a 1-0 lead by securi...

Illini tennis swings into Big Ten play with high expectations

Zeke Clark returns the ball during the meet against Chicago State at Atkins Tennis Centeron Feb. 15.

By Jackson Janes, Staff Writer

March 4, 2020

Illinois opens up its 2020 Big Ten season in Evanston, Illinois, on Saturday as the team takes on the Northwestern Wildcats before returning home to the Atkins Tennis Center to face the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday. After finishing as runners-up in last year’s Big Ten tournament, the Illini have h...

Two-game win streak snaps as Illini fall to Bears at home

Junior Alex Brown and senior Aleks Kovacevic rest between sets as head coach Brad Dancer encourages them during a doubles match against Baylor Feb. 29. After their season was abruptly cancelled, the players are focusing on directing their disappointment to empower their futures.

By Luca Ripani, Staff writer

March 2, 2020

The Illinois men’s tennis team dropped another heartbreaker on Saturday night as it fell to the No. 21 Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Conference, 4-3. The Illini picked up a tight doubles point as sophomore Siphosthando Montsi and redshirt junior Gui Gomes defeated Baylor sophomore Adrian Boitan and re...

llinois takes on red-hot Baylor on Saturday

Illinois’ Noe Khlif returns the ball during the match against Duke at Atkins Tennis Center on Feb. 1. The University has two international players: senior Noe Khlif, from France, and sophomore Siphosothando Montsi, from South Africa.

By Jackson Janes, Staff Writer

February 27, 2020

Two weeks after taking down Notre Dame at home on Feb. 15, No. 45 Illinois faces No. 21 Baylor at the Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday. The Illini enter the match with a 3-5 record, while the Bears boast a 10-3 record. After falling in five of their six matches, the Illini have turned things around as ...

Illinois picks up wins over Chicago State, Notre Dame

Senor Aleks Kovacevic returns in a match against Notre Dame at the Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday. The Illini will face the Baylor Bears at home on Feb. 29.

By Luca Ripani, Staff Writer

February 17, 2020

The Illinois men’s tennis team saw success this Saturday in meets against Chicago State and Notre Dame. The team collected wins in singles and doubles in both meets, including a comeback stretch against Notre Dame highlighted by Illini junior Alex Brown beating the No. 5-ranked singles player Richard C...

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