Men's Tennis
Dabir Wins Big Ten Consolation Title

Freshman Pramod Dabir
Freshman Pramod Dabir

Nov. 18, 2002

Freshman Pramod Dabir lost his opening round match to the No. 1 seed Saturday in the Big Ten Singles Tournament, but since then stormed back with six victories to claim the consolation title today.

Dabir first beat Northwestern's Josh Axler, 6-1, 6-4, in a semifinal match this morning, then followed it up with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Mark Barry of Penn State in the noon final.

"Pramod played very well in this tournament," said UI Associate Head Coach Bruce Berque. "One of his objectives this weekend was to improve his serving, and he definitely achieved that. In the final, he was inobunds on 75 to 80 percent of his first serves, which is very good for him. Pramod clearly played his best match of the tournament in the final. Winning his last six matches in a row is great for his confidence; it was a good way to finish the fall season."

Illinois' other two competitors in the tournament, freshman Ryler DeHeart and Chris Martin, were eliminated yesterday in the main draw quarterfinals.

Today's matches wrapped up Illinois' fall tennis season. The Fighting Illini will compete next in the Kona Invitational Jan. 11-13 in Kona, Hawaii.

Two UI men's tennis players are competing (unattached as amateurs) in this week's Wright Financial Group USTA Challenger professional tournament hosted by the University of Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center. Junior Phil Stolt won three matches over the weekend to become the first UI player in the six-year history of the event to reach the main draw via a qualifying tournament. His Illini teammate, Amer Delic, the No. 6 collegiate player in the nation, was granted a wild card entry into the main draw. Delic's first match is today at 5:30 p.m., while Stolt's first competition will be Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.