Amer Delic defeated the tournament's top seed to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Nov. 17, 2010
URBANA, Ill. - Former Illini Amer Delic gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about Wednesday, as he upset the No. 1 seed, Kei Nishikori, in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, to earn a spot in the quarterfinal round at the JSM Challenger at Atkins Tennis Center. Nishikori entered the match ranked a season-high No. 101 in the world, while Delic, who received a wild card into the tournament, is ranked No. 696 after returning to action just this past September after recovering from a knee injury.
"It definitely feels great to get a win, especially over a player like Kei Nishikori, who's super talented and has been playing well," Delic said. "This was not even my 10th match of the year, so it's great. I had a good start and served well. That's what kept me in the match. When I was down on my service games, I was able to pull them out and it put a little bit more pressure on him and I think it kind of got to him. Second set I had a loose game, but I was able to get it back and pull away in the end."
Tied at five in the first set, Delic held serve to take a 6-5 advantage, before breaking Nishikori to take the opening set and continued that momentum into round two. Nishikori led 3-2 in the second set, before Delic broke him to tie it at three and never looked back. This was the pair's second-ever match and first since 2008, when Nishikori won in three sets, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-2.
"He had a good serve today," Nishikori said. "I had a couple of chances in the first set. He had many aces and I could have done better on my first serve. I think he played a great match today though."
Delic will meet current USC junior Steve Johnson in the quarterfinals on Thursday not before 3:30 p.m. Johnson knocked off James Lemke, 6-4, 6-4 earlier today. The 20-year-old All-American is ranked seventh in the preseason ITA national rankings and split time at No. 1 and 2 singles for the 2010 NCAA champion Trojans.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were second-seeded Peter Luczak, fifth-seeded Bobby Reynolds, sixth-seeded Alex Bogomolov, Jr., Fritz Wolmarans, Michael Yani and Jesse Witten.
Visit IllinoisChallenger.com for additional tournament information including up-to-date results and draws. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Singles - Second Round
[WC] A Delic (BIH) d  K Nishikori (JPN) 75 63
 P Luczak (AUS) d A Kuznetsov (USA) 76(11) 62
 B Reynolds (USA) d D Bloemke (GER) 76(10) 64
 A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) d G Jones (AUS) 76(3) 63
[WC] S Johnson (USA) d J Lemke (AUS) 75 76(2)
J Witten (USA) d R Klaasen (RSA) 63 63
M Yani (USA) d J Levine (USA) 63 64
F Wolmarans (RSA) d N Monroe (USA) 63 76(3)
Doubles - First Round
 C Guccione (AUS) / P Luczak (AUS) d [LL] B Livingston (USA) / R Mortera (USA) 62 63
A Delic (BIH) / B Reynolds (USA) d D Bloemke (GER) / J Lemke (AUS) 62 61
A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) / A Kuznetsov (USA) d [WC] D Nevolo (USA) / A Souza (USA) 64 75
Thursday, Nov. 18 // Highlighted Matches
COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
 R Deheart (USA) / P Duclos (CAN) vs J Fruttero (USA) / D Martin (USA)
 B Reynolds (USA) vs  P Luczak (AUS)
Not Before 3:30 PM
[WC] A Delic (BIH) vs [WC] S Johnson (USA)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] M Czerwinski (USA) / R Rowe (USA) vs A Delic (BIH) / B Reynolds (USA)
Not Before 8:30 PM
[WC] J Hamui (USA) / K Singh (IND) vs  C Guccione (AUS) / P Luczak (AUS)
COURT 2 Not Before 6:30 PM
J Witten (USA) vs M Yani (USA)
Amer Delic on having the home court advantage:
"It's been a couple years since I've played here, but it definitely helps to have the fans cheering for me. At the same time, there's always a little bit more pressure because fans are used to seeing me win here."
Amer Delic on having previous experience facing Nishikori:
"It absolutely helps. The last time I played him, he actually won the ATP tournament. I lost to him in the second round and I think my stat was 0 for 12 or 13 on break points and ended up losing a close three-setter. Then again, that was two years ago, before my knee surgery and before all of his different results, so it was a different ballgame tonight."