ORLANDO, Fla. – Fighting Illini men’s tennis duo Hunter Heck and Karlis Ozolins have secured a spot in the Round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship after a tie-break victory on Wednesday afternoon at the UTSA National Campus.
No.37-ranked Heck and Ozolins defeated No.26-ranked Sebastian Dominko and Connor Fu of Notre Dame, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8) becoming the furthest advancing doubles team since Roy Kalmanovich and Dennis Nevolo in 2012.
Heck and Ozolins started their match off rocky, being broken in the first game. The pair kept it tight, however, not letting the Fighting Irish get ahead more than one point until the sixth game when Dominko and Fu led 4-2.
After being down 5-3, Heck and Ozolins picked up one more game point before the Notre Dame pair won the first set, 6-4.
The doubles pair started the second set determined, securing three-straight game points. After dropping the fourth game, putting the score to 3-1, Heck and Ozolins didn’t look back the rest of the way, taking the 6-1 win.
The tie break was a close one, with Heck and Ozolins having the furthest lead be 8-5 before Dominko and Fu came back and tied it at 8-8. Ultimately, Heck and Ozolins scored two-straight points to clinch the match.
The pair will play the winner of No. 42-ranked Edoardo Graziani/Kevin Zhu (Penn) versus No. 34-ranked Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc/Joshua Dous Kar (Florida St.) tomorrow (May 25) at a time later to be announced.
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