Junior Kevin Anderson earns Big Ten Athlete of the Week.
Jan. 24, 2007
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior Kevin Anderson of the Illinois men's tennis team garnered Big Ten Athlete of the Week for the week ending Jan. 21, announced the Big Ten Conference today. Anderson's honor comes just days after the Illini took down defending NCAA champion Pepperdine on Friday, Jan. 19, by a score of 4-3 in its season dual match opener.
"Kevin is one of the top players in the conference and in the nation, and is very deserving of the honor," head coach Brad Dancer said. "Kevin is prepared to have a great season this year, and will only continue to improve as we head into Big Tens. As we showed against Pepperdine, our junior class is going to be pivotal in our success this year, and Kevin showed that in his performance."
On Friday night, Anderson led fifth-ranked Illinois to a victory over No. 10-ranked Pepperdine. Anderson got the Illini off to a surging start against the Waves with the first doubles win of the match, and later clinched the team victory with his singles performance.
At No. 1 doubles, the Johannesburg, South African native teamed with fellow junior Ruben Gonzales to shut down Pepperdine's Omar Altmann and Richard Johnson, 8-4. After a tough first set in his No. 1 singles match, the 23rd-ranked Anderson pulled away in the second set against No. 33-ranked Andre Begemann to take the match 7-6(6), 6-3. This is the third weekly honor of Anderson's career, and it is the first since he shared the award with Ohio State's Scott Green to close out the 2006 regular season on April 26.
Anderson and the Illini continue their spring season as they travel to Ball State to take on the Cardinals in Carmel, Ind., on Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. local time (EST), and 6 p.m. (CST).