MTEN Preview: #9 Illinois

March 1, 2018

FORT WORTH, Texas – A tough road test at No. 9 Illinois is next-up on the slate for the No. 26 TCU men’s tennis team as they are set to face the Illini on Friday, March 2 at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign, Ill.

The Horned Frogs (6-2) and the Illini (6-4) will begin competition at 6 p.m., inside the indoor facility.

TCU Notables
After an over two-week hiatus, TCU returned to action at home on Wednesday night and quickly picked up a 4-0 win over Tulsa. The Frogs are checking in at No. 26 in the Oracle/ITA poll this week with the match against Illinois to be only the second this season against a ranked opponent.

Alastair Gray continues to lead the team in the Oracle/ITA rankings at No. 27 in the singles poll while Alex Rybakov and Trevor Johnson also have rankings at No. 42 and No. 47, respectively. Johnson is a perfect 6-0 on the season with three wins over ranked opponents while Rybakov has 10 wins and a 5-1 mark in dual matches. Rybakov and Gray pair up for a No. 13 doubles ranking while Rybakov also sits at No. 57 with Guillermo Nuñez. Bertus Kruger and Reese Stalder lead the team in doubles action with a 5-2 mark including a 3-0 record at the No. 3 position.

Scouting the Illini
Illinois sits at No. 9 in the Oracle/ITA poll with six wins this season including five over ranked opponents. The Illini have four ranked singles players starting with No. 23 Aleks Vukic who has five wins on the season. Zeke Clark checks in at No. 83, while Aron Hiltzik and Alex Brown round out the rankings at No. 97 and No. 116, respectively. In doubles, the duo of Brown and Chakravarthi hold a 10-3 overall mark this season including an 8-2 record at the No. 3 spot. Clark and Aleks Kovacevic have six wins in doubles with all of them coming at the No. 2 position.

All-Time Series Records
Friday’s match will mark the 12th meeting all-time that the two programs have faced off in with the Frogs holding the 8-3 advantage. TCU has won the last five straight matches dating back to 2015 including a 4-1 win over Illinois in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championship last spring. This will be the third match all-time that will take place in Champaign with the series tied at 1-1. Last time the teams met on Illinois’ home courts, TCU was able to come away with a 5-2 victory in February of 2016.

Live Results
Live video and scoring of the Illinois match can be found at Final results and a recap will be available at following the completion of the competitions and in-match updates can also be found by following TCU men’s tennis on twitter (@TCUMensTennis).



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