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Anderson spoils upset bid at JSM Challenger

Kevin Anderson© Getty Images

Courtesy: USTA.com

URBANA, Ill. – Seventh-seeded former Illini Kevin Anderson closed out action Monday at the JSM Challenger at Atkins Tennis Center with a three-set victory over Filip Prpic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in the final match of the night. Anderson will meet the winner of Ryan Harrison/Ricardas Berankis in the second round on Wednesday.

“I think I played a good first set but just had a bit of lack of concentration in the second set that cost me because I had so many break points but just couldn’t capitalize on them,” Anderson said. “In the third set, I got a through a tough first game, and then after that I got over a little hump and played a good game to break.”

Qualifying play concluded earlier in the day, with former Illini Ryan Rowe and teammate Ashwin Kumar earning a spot in the doubles main draw with their 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 victory over Trent Aaron and Craig Schwartz in the qualifying final.

In the first round of the doubles main draw, Illini senior Marek Czerwinski and sophomore Dennis Nevolo dropped a heartbreaker to brothers Brian and Dann Battistone, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-7.

“I felt like I played kind of soft in the first two sets, so I knew I had to really step it up in the tiebreaker,” Nevolo said. “It was a couple shots here and there, and they made some great gets. I feel like we played a great tiebreaker. Besides the mental aspect of playing professionals, it’s not all that different than college. One of the guys had a better serve than most guys do in college, but the top players in college play at a pretty similar level.”

In addition to Anderson, two other seeded players were in action Monday, as No. 5-seed Jesse Levine topped Jesse Witten, 7-6 (6), 6-3, and Jamie Baker upset eighth-seeded Robert Kendrick, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Several UI head coaches also were on hand Monday night to serve as ball runners for the tournament’s highlighted matches.

“Being a ball boy tonight was quite different than I expected,” men’s gymnastics associate head coach Justin Spring said. "I was a little nervous actually.  It's intense being on the field or court of a sport that you are not familiar with, especially when some of the best players in the world are playing.”

General admission to the JSM Challenger is free through Wednesday, Nov. 18, and additional information can be found at http://illinoischallenger.com.

Monday’s Results:

Singles - First Round
[5] J Levine (USA) d J Witten (USA) 76(6) 63 [7] K Anderson (RSA) d F Prpic (SWE) 63 36 63 J Baker (GBR) d [8] R Kendrick (USA) 36 64 62 [WC] B Strode (USA) d V Spadea (USA) 75 62 T Widom (USA) d M Yani (USA) 51 Retired R Delgado (PAR) d [WC] R Gonzales (USA) 61 61 M Mcclune (USA) d A Kuznetsov (USA) 75 64

Doubles - First Round
B Battistone (USA) / D Battistone (USA) d [WC] M Czerwinski (USA) / D Nevolo (USA) 76(4) 46 10-7

Qualifying Singles - Quarterfinals
Qualifying - A Brugues-Davi (ESP) d C Mamiit (PHI) 64 64 Qualifying - R Berankis (LTU) d T Huey (PHI) 61 57 64 Qualifying - B Rehnquist (SWE) d R Bloomfield (GBR) 64 63 Qualifying - K Hensel (AUS) d B Battistone (USA) 76(4) 46 63

Qualifying Doubles - Finals
Qualifying - [1] A Kumar (USA) / R Rowe (USA) d [2] T Aaron (USA) / C Schwartz (USA) 46 62 10-8

Tuesday’s Highlighted Matches:

Starting at 12 PM (Court 2)
No. 6 Somdev Devvarman vs. Bjorn Rehnquist; followed by Scoville Jenkins vs. Ryan Sweeting; followed by Kaden Hensel vs. Ryler DeHeart

Not Before 4:00 PM (Court 1)
Arnau Brugues-Davi vs. No. 3 Michael Russell

Not Before 4:30 PM (Court 2)
No. 4 Taylor Dent vs. Izak Van Der Merwe

Not Before 6:00 PM (Court 1)
Luka Gregorc vs. No. 2 Rajeev Ram
Alex Kuznetsov / Jesse Witten vs. Kevin Anderson / Ruben Gonzales

Not Before 6:30 PM (Court 2)
No. 3 Kaden Hensel / Adam Hubble vs. Jamie Delgado / John Paul Fruttero
No. 1 Kevin Kim vs. Dennis Nevolo