NCAA Mens Tennis

MSU Well Represented In Preseason Tennis Rankings

MSU Well Represented In Preseason Tennis Rankings

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s men’s tennis team was well represented in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason rankings that were released on Tuesday.

A total of five Bulldogs made up six spots in the rankings, including four singles competitors. Dusan Milanovic is MSU’s highest-ranked singles player at No. 36 while Nemanja Malesevic came in at No. 46, Carles Hernandez at No. 60 and Petar Jovanovic at No. 68.

In doubles, Malesevic and partner Michal Novansky begin the year ranked 14th while Hernandez and Milanovic follow close behind at 22nd.

Milanovic, a junior transfer from Presbyterian, finished last season ranked 69th in singles and was one-half of the 37th-ranked doubles tandem in the country. The 6-foot-2 southpaw was named the 2023 Big South Player of the Year and participated in the NCAA Championships with the Blue Hose as well as an individual in both singles and doubles.

The Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina native was also the Big Sky Freshman of the Year in 2022.

Malesevic was ranked as highly as No. 52 last year after posting a dozen wins at the top of the lineup during dual match play. The now senior tied for the team lead with Hernandez with seven victories over ranked opponents in singles and topped the Bulldogs with five doubles wins against ranked foes.

Malesevic, a two-time second team All-SEC selection, clinched a team-best six matches during the spring and clinched six doubles points as well. He is also the 2021 ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year.

Hernandez led MSU with a 27-7 singles record last year, including a sparkling 21-5 mark in dual match play. In addition to knocking off seven ranked singles opponents, the now senior sent the Bulldogs to the Round of 16 by clinching their second-round match against Middle Tennessee in the Starkville Regional and was ranked as high as 84th in singles and 18th in doubles alongside Malesevic.

Jovanovic burst onto the scene last season garnering SEC Freshman of the Week honors three times and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team. The 6-foot-4 native of Podgorica, Montenegro finished second on the team with 25 singles wins, including a 13-match winning streak. He also clinched six doubles points and four matches and was ranked as highly as 109th in singles with four wins over ranked opponents.


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