NCAA Womens Tennis

Duong and Heuser Secure Straight-Set Win for Sweet 16 Berth

Duong and Heuser Secure Straight-Set Win for Sweet 16 Berth

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fighting Illini women’s tennis saw Kate Duong and Megan Heuser earn a 6-1, 7-6 (1) Round of 32 victory over Fresno State’s duo of No. 48-ranked Yinglak Jittakoat and Matilde Magrini on Tuesday from the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

After waiting three-and-a-half hours past their scheduled start due to rain, lightning and moving indoors, Duong and Heuser took the court together for the first time since April 25. Duong missed the final three team outings of the 2023 campaign due to an arm injury.

The Illini served first to open play and won the first game. No. 17-ranked Duong and Heuser broke the Fresno State duo for a 3-1 advantage and ultimately won the last five games of the opening set for a 6-1 victory.

Set two saw the tandems break each other the first four games before Fresno State’s duo took its first lead of a set at 3-2. Illinois would answer to knot the frame at 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6 with Jittakoat and Magrini in the lead. Heuser served the Illini to the 6-6 tie, including an ace to set the set to a tiebreaker.

After their counterparts scored the first point, Duong and Heuser rattled off seven straight to secure the straight-set victory.

Duong and Heuser are now 25-5 across the 2022-23 campaign when working together.

Next up for the Illini tandem will be Old Dominion’s No. 42 Sofia Johnson and Tatsiana Sasnouskaya in the Sweet 16.

Heuser and Duong are the fifth doubles duo in Illinois program history to earn a bid into the NCAA Doubles Championships and the first since 2013. The last time Illinois made the NCAA Tournament as a team and sent a doubles duo was 2004.

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