Past Champion, Runners-Up Highlight 2010 JSM Challenger Field
Courtesy: Illinois Athletics
Former Illini DeHeart set to make return
URBANA, Ill. - With just over two weeks remaining before the start of play at the 15th annual JSM Challenger at Atkins Tennis Center, Nov. 13-20, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) has released the acceptance list for this year's tournament. Highlighting the field is former Illini All-American Ryler DeHeart, 2007 JSM Challenger singles champion Jesse Levine and 2009 runner-up Taylor Dent.
DeHeart returns to Champaign from Muncie, Ind., where he currently is a volunteer assistant coach with the Ball State women's tennis team when he is not competing. DeHeart has won 18 matches on the year, with 10 coming at ATP Challenger tournaments, in addition to claiming the singles title at the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic in Decatur in early August. DeHeart reached a career-high ranking of No. 174 back in May. In doubles, the Hawai'i native has found much success, winning four titles on the year in seven finals appearances.
Dent, who leads the field with a world ranking of No. 92, has competed in the main draw at all four Grand Slams this year. He has won 11 matches on the ATP World Tour and four at Challengers, though he has yet to make a finals appearance in 2010.
Levine checks in at No. 271 in the world and has spent much of the year competing at Challengers, though he secured a first-round win over Ryan Harrison at the AEGON Championships in June for his first and only World Tour victory of the year.
Also scheduled to compete is 2008 runner-up Donald Young and up-and-coming 20-year-old Kei Nishikori. Young, currently ranked No. 123, has captured 27 wins and one tournament title this year in Challengers, while Nishikori is right behind in the rankings at No. 124 and has claimed 19 victories and three tournament titles on the Challenger circuit.
The 2010 JSM Challenger begins with qualifying play on Nov. 13th and 14th, with the main draw beginning on the 15th and the finals on the 20th.