Petar Jovanovic burst onto the scene for Mississippi State last season at the No. 2 position en route to earning SEC All-Freshman Team honors.
Jovanovic has already taken down several ranked opponents during his short tenure with the Bulldogs. But the 68th-ranked sophomore was able to secure the highest-ranked win of his still-young career when he knocked off No. 19 Ryan Fishback of Virginia Tech in the consolation round of 16 at the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego, California on Thursday.
The match, however, did not start off well for Jovanovic after falling behind 5-0 in the first set. The powerful 6-foot-4 native of Montenegro was able to answer by winning six of the next seven points to shift the momentum into his favor. And despite dropping the first set 6-3, Jovanovic went on to win the next two sets by the same 6-3 score to prevail.
“Pete came out in singles a little shaky and did a great job of locking in and playing better and better as the match went on,” said head coach Matt Roberts. “I was impressed with his controlled, aggressive tennis today and look forward to seeing him come out swinging tomorrow against another solid opponent.”
Jovanovic will take on Columbia’s 15th-ranked Michael Zheng in the consolation quarterfinals on Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Jovanovic was also in action on Thursday evening alongside partner Benito Sanchez Martinez for their doubles consolation round of 16 match against the same Alabama tandem that handed them an 8-3 loss a little over two weeks ago.
Jovanovic and Sanchez Martinez were able to avenge their defeat at the ITA Southern Regional with a 6-4, 6-4 win over the Crimson Tide duo of Filip Planinsek and Andrii and Zimnokh.
“Pete and Benito did a great job making the needed adjustments from what they learned at Regionals,” Roberts said. “Both of the Alabama players return very well so holding serve is not easy and they stepped up at the net today. They also communicated and returned at a high level in big moments. We are ready to get more matches and keep learning from each opponent and opportunity.”
Jovanovic and Sanchez Martinez move on to the consolation quarterfinals against the winner of USF’s Alvin Tudorica and Erik Grevelius and Georgia Tech’s Gabriele Brancatelli and Richard Biagiotti in Thursday’s late match.