Former Illini Dennis Nevolo won his opening singles match at the JSM Challenger.
Nov. 13, 2012
URBANA, Ill. - Former Fighting Illini standout Dennis Nevolo played his way to second-round singles action with a 6-4, 6-2 win in round one of the JSM Challenger Tuesday night at Atkins Tennis Center. Meanwhile, current Illinois sophomores Farris Gosea and Tim Kopinski competed in the main doubles draw on day four of the eight-day USTA Pro Circuit tournament.
"Dennis had to overcome some nerves early on," Illini head coach Brad Dancer said. "But he got through that, and I think he made some good tactical adjustments in the first set that helped him get a little more control, and from there, he did a great job. I'm proud of him, and he's going to have a big challenge tomorrow night with Ryan Sweeting. We'll see how he does with that."
In doubles, Gosea and Kopinski got off to a rough start, quickly dropping their first set to Andrew Courtney and Jack Sock. The Orange and Blue duo bounced back in the following set, however, forcing a super tiebreaker. Gosea and Kopinski could not maintain their second-set momentum, ultimately falling in a 6-2, 6-7(1), 10-5 loss.
"I think Tim and Farris did a great job of playing with their standard," Dancer said. "They served really poorly in the match tiebreaker, though, and that has been the achilles heel of our whole team. They showed a little bit of inexperience, but they continue to set a good standard for how they are going to play, and they don't back down from anyone. I really like what I'm seeing from them."
Top-seeded Michael Russell cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Adrien Bossel, while second-seeded Mischa Zverev exited the tournament early with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to qualifier Chris Guccione. Last year's champion, Alex Kuznetsov, also dropped his round-one match.
Play resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT. Current Illini qualifiers Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse will play in doubles at approximately 5:30 p.m., followed by Nevolo in singles. Brian Page and Stephen Hoh will play in doubles as alternates at approximately 4 p.m.
The JSM Challenger marks the final event of the USTA Pro Circuit season. Action will be streamed live at procircuit.usta.com.
Singles - First Round
 M Russell (USA) def. A Bossel (SUI) 6-4, 6-4
[Q] C Guccione (AUS) def.  M Zverev (GER) 6-4, 6-3
 D Kudla (USA) def. [Q] J Milton (GBR) 7-5, 6-3
D Smethurst (GBR) def.  B Reynolds (USA) 6-3, 6-4
 T Smyczek (USA) def. M Lammer (SUI) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
 J Sock (USA) def. T Gabashvili (RUS) 7-6(4), 6-6 (ret.)
T Sandgren (USA) def.  A Kuznetsov (USA) 6-4, 7-6(4)
[WC] C Buchanan (USA) def. G Jones (AUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
R Williams (USA) def. A Krajicek (USA) 6-2, 6-2
[WC] D Nevolo (USA) def. [Q] C Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-2
I Van der Merwe (RSA) def. [Q] A Daescu (ROU) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles - First Round
A Courtney (USA) / J Sock (USA) def. [WC] F Ghasya (Gosea) (LBA) / T Kopinski (USA) 6-2, 6-7(1), (10-5)
Nov. 14 (Wednesday) - Free
Nov. 15-16 (Thursday-Friday) - $5 for adults; $3 for children
Nov. 17 (Saturday) - $7 for adults; $5 for children