SAN DIEGO, Calif. – For the second consecutive year, Mississippi State men’s tennis will have players competing in both singles and doubles at the ITA Fall National Championships.
No. 68 Petar Jovanovic will start things off for the Bulldogs in singles against USF’s Alvin Tudorica on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. CT. Jovanovic has been on a tear during the month of October, competing in 21 total matches and earning 16 victories.
The Podgorica, Montenegro native earned his bid into the ITA Fall National Championships by finishing as the runner-up at the ITA Southern Regional in Auburn, Alabama two weeks ago.
“I really feel honored to have a chance to compete in this prestigious tournament,” Jovanovic said. “I think we deserved it because of all the hard work we put in during practices and matches this fall. I am happy I made the tournament, but also that does not mean we stop here. I am ready to give 100 percent each day here and make the best result in both since and doubles.”
Jovanovic will also compete in doubles alongside partner Benito Sanchez Martinez against Isaac Becroft and Tyler Zink of Oklahoma State on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Jovanovic and Sanchez Martinez received a “wildcard” bid into the event.
“I’m grateful for the organizers to give us a wildcard so that we can compete in this tournament,” Sanchez Martinez said. “Being granted this opportunity pay off all the hard work and discipline we put in on and off the court. I can’t wait to step on the court and bring the most energy I can.”
Despite only teaming together three times as freshmen last year, Jovnaovic and Sanchez Martinez have been dominant this fall. The sophomore tandem has posted a 6-2 record with three victories over ranked foes this fall, including a win over No. 5 Robin Catry and Luca Staheli of N.C. State.
The Bulldog duo will square off against opponents that are very familiar with the SEC. Becroft began his career at MSU where he competed in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season before transferring to Loyola Marymount and then onto OSU last year. Zink was a two-time All-American at Georgia before transferring to the Cowboys in the 2021-22 season.