Nov. 11, 2008
Kevin Anderson proved why he was a three time All-American Tuesday night, dominating University of Illinois freshman Dennis Nevolo, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the JSM Challenger at Urbana's Atkins Tennis Center. Anderson, now ranked 122nd in the world, also overcame a bad nosebleed that caused a five-minute stoppage in play in the first set.
"It's just one of those things," Anderson said. "My nose produces more mucus than anyone or anything. And on top of that I have a bad cold right now, and something just caught in my nose. And that can actually cost you a match. If it doesn't stop, you can't play. So the trainer gave me a couple of things to try so I could keep going. Luckily it stopped."
Anderson next faces crafty veteran Michael Russell, a straight set winner over Ivan Miranda. The matchup will feature a severe height imbalance, with Russell giving up a foot to the 6'8" South African.
Former Illini Amer Delic was eliminated from the tournament on Tuesday, falling in straight sets to Sam Warburg, 6-2, 6-2. It was Delic's second straight early exit from his hometown Challenger, as he lost in the second round here last year.
The 2008 JSM Challenger will have a new titleholder, as defending champion Jesse Levine was knocked off in the first round by Ilia Bozoljac, 6-4, 6-4. Levine battled off four match points before finally falling. Bozoljac consistently painted the lines, using two hands off of both sides to dethrone the champion.
Also out is the tournament's top seed. Vince Spadea was upset by Australian Carsten Ball in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1). Ball took advantage of several short balls from Spadea, and served at a tremendous level to earn the win. Robert Kendrick is now the top seed remaining in the draw, and he plays his first match on Wednesday.
Tuesday also saw a unique set of ball kids on the Atkins Tennis Center courts. 13 head coaches from various University of Illinois sports were on court in an unfamiliar role, assisting the players as ball kids during the six o'clock matches.
"Once you get down there, you realize how fast the ball is coming when you're right behind it," said University of Illinois Soccer Coach Janet Rayfield. "My heart was beating fast. There are some really good tennis players out here. It was a lot of fun."
Admission in to the $50,000 2008 JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana is free until Friday. Tickets for the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday and Saturday will be $5 for general admission, and $3 for students. For Sunday's finals, tickets will run $7 and $5. Tickets are available at the door, or by calling (217) 244-3318. More tournament information can be found at www.illinoischallenger.com.
Qualifying Singles, Qualifying Round:
#6 Izak Van Der Merwe (RSA) def. Michael McClune (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Nikita Kryvonos (USA) def. #5 Frederik Nielsen (DEN) 6-4, 6-3
#7 Ramon Delgado (PAR) def. Travis Rettenmaier (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Frederic Niemeyer (CAN) def. Chris Klingemann (USA) 6-1, 6-3
Main Draw Singles, First Round:
Michael Russell (USA) def. Ivan Miranda (PER) 7-5 6-2
#5 Kevin Kim (USA) def. Jesse Witten (USA) 6-2, 7-6 (1)
Ilia Bozoljac (SRB) def. #4 Jesse Levine (USA) 6-4, 6-4
Frank Dancevic (CAN) def. Giovanni Lapentti (ECU) 6-3, 6-2
Carsten Ball (AUS) def. #1 Vincent Spadea (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1)
#7 Kevin Anderson (RSA) def. Dennis Nevolo (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Sam Warburg (USA) def. #8 Amer Delic (USA) 6-2, 6-2
Qualifying Doubles, Qualifying Round:
Somdev Devvarman (IND)/Izak Van Der Merwe (RSA) def. Harsh Mankad/Ashutosh Singh (IND) 6-3, 6-2
Main Draw Doubles, First Round:
Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)/Matwe Middelkoop (NED) def. #3 Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) 6-4, 1-6, 10-8
Olivier Charroin/Nicolas Tourte (FRA) def. #2 Ashley Fisher (AUS)/Jim Thomas (USA) 5-7, 7-6 (3), 10-6
Wednesday's Highlighted Matches: (all times after 12PM approximate)
12:00PM - Nikita Kryvonos vs. Scoville Jenkins
3:00PM - Dusan Vemic vs. #2 Bobby Reynolds
4:30PM - Ryan Sweeting vs. GD Jones
6:00PM - Devvarman/Van Der Merwe vs. Prakash Amritraj/Amer Delic
6:30PM - Rajeev Ram vs. Phillip Simmonds
7:30PM - Frederic Niemeyer vs. Taylor Dent
University of Illinois Women's Soccer Coach Janet Rayfield: "Once you get down there, you realize how fast the ball is coming when you're right behind it. My heart was beating fast. There are some really good tennis players out here. It was a lot of fun."
Dennis Nevolo: "Actually I felt pretty good. I came out a little nervous, obviously. But I got my feet going and played better thoughout the match." On what he gets out of this tournament: "Just the experience of playing a tournament like this. Playing a big hitter like this. Now I get to see what it's like in a real match."
Kevin Anderson: "You're always a little on edge, coming through here and playing against a guy who's the next generation here. I just kept saying it was another match. I was pretty pleased with the way I played today."