CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois men’s tennis team is set to compete in back-to-back dual meets against No. 4 Kentucky on Jan. 21 at 12 p.m. and No. 2 Ohio State on Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m.
While Ohio State is in the Big Ten, the match against the Illini will not count toward the Big Ten record.
LAST TIME OUT
Illinois is coming off a weekend sweep against Wichita State and Bryant. The Illini stared the day with a 6-1 win against the Shockers where Oliver Okonkwo and Mathis Debru, defeating Duccio Petreni and Luke Bracks 6-2 and Karlis Ozolins and William Mroz beat Richey King and Misha Kvantaliani, 7-6 (3).
Hunter Heck, Ozolins, Mroz, Okonkwo and Debru all won their singles matches as well – Heck beat Kristof Minarik, 6-0, 6-1, Ozolins beat Kvantaliani 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, Mroz took down Alex Richards, 6-3, 6-4 Okonkwo 6-3, 6-1 against Bracks and Debru 6-4, 7-6 (2) against King.
The match against Bryant was shortened with the Illini walking away with a 4-0 win. The victory was guided by a 6-3 doubles win from Ozolins and Mroz against Leonardo Mileikowsky and Will Pellegrini, as well as a 6-2 doubles win from Okonkwo and Debru against Jean-Christophe Baril and Aryaan Sen.
The wins continued with Heck defeating Mileikowsky 6-3, 6-1 against, with Okonkwo winning 6-1, 6-1 over Diego Trejo. Ozolins took his victory over Nick Lorenz, 6-2, 6-2.
Kentucky cruised past Dayton in their opening doubleheader on Jan. 18, defeating the Flyers by scores of 5-0 and 4-0 without dropping a single set. No. 1 doubles pair, Liam Draxl and Alafia Ayeni, went 2-0 on the day, as did the tandem of Jaden Weekes and Alexandre LeBlanc.
Draxl also managed two singles wins, including a victory over 2022 First-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Connor Bruce.
Ohio State opened their season with a doubleheader against Cleveland State and Toledo, sweeping them 7-0 and 4-0, respectively.
The Buckeyes are bringing in the No. 2 ranked doubles pair in the nation with JJ Tracy and Andrew Lutschaunig who handled their business against Cleveland State pair of Kade Mindry and Raul Teichmann on court one with a 6-2 victory.
Fifth-ranked Tracy and 90th-ranked Alexander Bernard never faltered for the Buckeyes, only giving up two points each on their way to victories over Kade Mindry and Raul Teichmann, Tracy with a…