2018-2019 Illini Tennis

#26
Dancer said that he has been sick for 'weeks' and then he turned his knee in the match vs. Duke. Watched him play today vs. He has dropped to #2 in the lineup (Kovacevic moved up). He looked ok physically but didn't play well. Dropped the doubles and was on the way to losing (#2) singles when the match ended 4-1 for the Illini.
I was watching him play on the stream today and he seemed to be hitting the ball well. I didn't see enough to tell how his movement was, but it seemed ok.

I wonder if he's having mental issues (not mental illness, but either distracted by something or lacking confidence for some reason). Tennis is such a mental game and it doesn't take much to throw you off sometimes. When I was watching him, it seemed like he should have been able to beet his opponent but he just couldn't put him away. He definitely didn't look overmatched.
 
#27
I was watching him play on the stream today and he seemed to be hitting the ball well. I didn't see enough to tell how his movement was, but it seemed ok.

I wonder if he's having mental issues (not mental illness, but either distracted by something or lacking confidence for some reason). Tennis is such a mental game and it doesn't take much to throw you off sometimes. When I was watching him, it seemed like he should have been able to beet his opponent but he just couldn't put him away. He definitely didn't look overmatched.
His game is much like the new freshman Mayo. Both big kids with big serves which was good enough to win at the high school level. At this level opponents are able to return some of those serves. Once they get into a rally they are able to move these big guys around and the big guys aren't used to that. Put a lob over their head and they simply turn around and watch it (or not). Dancer will have them practicing vs. Kovecevic or Clark who never let a rally die and they'll come around.
 
#28
His game is much like the new freshman Mayo. Both big kids with big serves which was good enough to win at the high school level. At this level opponents are able to return some of those serves. Once they get into a rally they are able to move these big guys around and the big guys aren't used to that. Put a lob over their head and they simply turn around and watch it (or not). Dancer will have them practicing vs. Kovecevic or Clark who never let a rally die and they'll come around.
After watching Brown again today, he just didn't seem to have any energy and his body language was terrible. I don't know if he's sick or his knee is bothering him or what, but he just seemed down and lackluster all the time. Granted, the guy he was playing was really good, but it seems like there was something wrong with him.
 
#29
Tough 4-3 loss to UNC today. Kovacevic pulled out a great win at #1 against Blumberg. Montsi showed his talent at #6, but needs to mature.

UNC was a hard team to play indoors, as all their players were tall and big servers. Illinois threw two really short players out there (Clark & Montsi) who will always have a difficult time beating bigger opponents indoors with the fast courts and (relatively) low ceilings.

All in all, it was a good effort and came down to 4-6 in the third for Brown who can't seem to win lately. If he ever gets fixed, Illinois could potentially be a top-8 or even Final Four team this year.
 
#30
Tough 4-3 loss to UNC today. Kovacevic pulled out a great win at #1 against Blumberg. Montsi showed his talent at #6, but needs to mature.

UNC was a hard team to play indoors, as all their players were tall and big servers. Illinois threw two really short players out there (Clark & Montsi) who will always have a difficult time beating bigger opponents indoors with the fast courts and (relatively) low ceilings.

All in all, it was a good effort and came down to 4-6 in the third for Brown who can't seem to win lately. If he ever gets fixed, Illinois could potentially be a top-8 or even Final Four team this year.
Kovacevic was really good against a very good opponent. I thought Brown looked better tonight than he has recently. He did go to the net quite a bit. Didn't always win when he did, but at least he took some chances. The match was lost in doubles. N.C. had duos that played together very well. Overall, I was encouraged.
 
#31
Kovacevic was really good against a very good opponent. I thought Brown looked better tonight than he has recently. He did go to the net quite a bit. Didn't always win when he did, but at least he took some chances. The match was lost in doubles. N.C. had duos that played together very well. Overall, I was encouraged.
Yep, it's a tough loss to swallow but a lot to be encouraged about, especially early in the season.
 
#32
2 things -

1) Was anyone at the match vs. Ohio State? I followed along on my phone as best I could, but I would like to hear about it from those that attended in person.
2) Caleb is transferring to SMU. Anyone know the details behind that situation? Seems like he was just playing #1 doubles and #5 singles. Did he fall out of favor that quickly?
 
#33
2 things -

1) Was anyone at the match vs. Ohio State? I followed along on my phone as best I could, but I would like to hear about it from those that attended in person.
2) Caleb is transferring to SMU. Anyone know the details behind that situation? Seems like he was just playing #1 doubles and #5 singles. Did he fall out of favor that quickly?
1) The Ohio State match was very close and was decided (partly) by a blatantly bad call at #2 singles, that has even elicited a call by a former pro player to sanction the tOSU player

2) Caleb was pretty entrenched at #5 and #6 singles and had been winning most of his matches. Then something happened and he went on a long losing streak and ultimately lost his spot in the line-up. He was very good at #1 doubles with Brown and were nationally-ranked.

That is sad that he's leaving. He seemed to be a very popular player. I have no idea what may have led to his desire to transfer, other than him losing his singles spot.
 
#36
Illini men barely beat Minnesota today, 4-3. Lost the doubles point, but won 5 of 6 first sets in singles. It came down to #2 and #4. Both Brown and Montsi won their first sets, but lost the second. Brown was up 4-1 in the 3rd set, was serving for the match at 5-4, and was up 6-4 in the tiebreaker and ended up losing 9-7 in the 3rd set tiebreaker. Sipho saved the day. He was down 5-2 in the 3rd set and rattled off five straight games to win 7-5 in the third or Illinois would have dropped this match.
 
#37
Illini men barely beat Minnesota today, 4-3. Lost the doubles point, but won 5 of 6 first sets in singles. It came down to #2 and #4. Both Brown and Montsi won their first sets, but lost the second. Brown was up 4-1 in the 3rd set, was serving for the match at 5-4, and was up 6-4 in the tiebreaker and ended up losing 9-7 in the 3rd set tiebreaker. Sipho saved the day. He was down 5-2 in the 3rd set and rattled off five straight games to win 7-5 in the third or Illinois would have dropped this match.
5-2?
 
#40
Big day for Illinois tennis tomorrow. Men and Women both go for B1G titles. Men take on Ohio State (again) and women will have a battle against Michigan.

Men's golf goes for B1G championship tomorrow, too. They are currently tied for the lead.
 
#41
The camera never lies
Champaign
Both tennis teams seasons ended today. Cal just took it to Illinois 4-1, ASU defeated UI W. Tennis 4-0.
 
#42
Interesting end to the men's team tournament. Longtime Texas coach, Michael Center, was fired mid-season for his involvement in the college bribery scandal, and former Illini assistant coach, Bruce Berque, took over the team. Yesterday, Texas beat defending champ, Wake Forest, 4-1 to win their first National Championship in men's tennis.
 
#43
Brown won his first match this morning 6-3, 6-1 over Kentucky's #1 player. Kawai is leading her opponent from Duke (ranked #11) in the third set. Kovacevic plays on the Tennis Channel at 5:30 tonight. Brown is a different player now than he was at the beginning of the season.
 
Likes: chiefini
#45
The one advantage of losing early in the team tournament is it helps you to be fresher for the individual tournament. Often players who advance deep into the team competition perform poorly in the singles and doubles tournaments.

Hopefully, Brown and Kawai can continue to win and reach All-American status. I believe the Illinois women have only had two All-Americans ever and have never had an All-American in singles.
 
#46
The one advantage of losing early in the team tournament is it helps you to be fresher for the individual tournament. Often players who advance deep into the team competition perform poorly in the singles and doubles tournaments.

Hopefully, Brown and Kawai can continue to win and reach All-American status. I believe the Illinois women have only had two All-Americans ever and have never had an All-American in singles.
Do you know why Vukic didn't play singles at last year's tourney?
 
#47
Do you know why Vukic didn't play singles at last year's tourney?
I don't know what his reasoning was. He probably just wanted to get started with his pro career. One big incentive for winning the singles championship is it gets you a wild card into the U.S. Open, but that's only for American players. Also, Vukic had already earned All-American status by virtue of his ranking.

Maybe he was just tired from the long season and elite eight team finish and needed a break from the grind.
 
#49
Checking out the roster it appears that both Keenan Mayo and Caleb Chakravarthi are gone. Kweisi Kenyatte, a transfer from Valpo has joined the squad. Big kid, junior from Detroit. Played #2 & 3 for Valpo and has had two 20 win seasons. Hate to see Mayo go. Granted, he performed poorly as a freshman but he is a big, strong kid who had lots of potential. He also has a younger brother who is the #3 kid in the class of 2021.
 
#50
Checking out the roster it appears that both Keenan Mayo and Caleb Chakravarthi are gone. Kweisi Kenyatte, a transfer from Valpo has joined the squad. Big kid, junior from Detroit. Played #2 & 3 for Valpo and has had two 20 win seasons. Hate to see Mayo go. Granted, he performed poorly as a freshman but he is a big, strong kid who had lots of potential. He also has a younger brother who is the #3 kid in the class of 2021.
Even more surprising is that Mayo transferred to Loyola Marymount University (8-15 record last year). I don't know if there is more to the story, but it seems like he wanted to move closer to home. He will likely play #1 or #2 singles and #1 doubles for them next season. In my opinion, Aidan Mayo (#3 in 2021) is the bigger loss for the Illini resulting from Keenan's transfer.