Filip Aleksic has won three-straight singles matches
Feb. 15, 2014
By John Lock
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's tennis team beat preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Austin Peay on Friday afternoon at the Sports Blast, 6-1. SIU won the doubles point and won five of six singles matches in straight sets. The win was the second-straight for the Salukis after starting the season 0-4.
The doubles point came down to No. 1 doubles after SIU and Austin Peay split on courts two and three. Trailing 2-5 in the match, Jonny Rigby and Michal Kianicka held serve twice and broke APSU to force a tiebreaker, which they won 8-6.
"We have worked extremely hard this week and focused all of our efforts to be able to be in a position to win today," head coach Dann Nelson said. "The doubles point proved to be especially important. When Jonny and Michal won to give us the doubles point, the momentum swung in our favor, and we never lost it through the singles."
Rigby and Kianicka picked up two more points for SIU with wins on courts one and two in singles, respectively. Rigby beat preseason OVC Player of the Year Jasmin Ademovic at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-2. Kianicka beat Dimitar Ristovski 6-4, 6-4. Szymon Opieczonek also won in both singles and doubles. After winning at No. 3 doubles, Opieczonek beat Iago Seffrin at No. 4 singles 6-2, 6-5(3).
At No. 4 singles, Rafael Cuadrillero beat James Mitchell 6-1, 6-5(3), and Filip Aleksic beat Manuel Montenegro 6-4, 6-2. Jorge Cavero, the lone SIU player to drop his singles match, won in doubles with Opieczonek 6-3.
After starting the season 0-4, the Salukis have won back-to-back matches. Aleksic has won three-straight singles matches; Kianicka has won three of his last four; and Rigby has won four of his last five and eight of his last ten, dating back to the fall.
"We have improved every week and have learned from our losses," Nelson said. "This is what I am most proud of. Our guys stepped up and battled against a good opponent and keep getting better."
The Salukis turn around quickly, facing Chicago State tomorrow at 2 p.m. CST at the Sports Blast.
Rigby/Kianicka (SIU) def. Ademovic/Tvarijonas (APSU), 6-5(6)
Seffrin/Ristovski (APSU) def. Cuadrillero/Aleksic (SIU), 6-4
Cavero/Opieczonek (SIU) def. Montenegro/Mitchell (APSU), 6-3
Jonny Rigby (SIU) def. Jasmin Ademovic (APSU), 6-3, 6-2
Michal Kianicka (SIU) def. Dimitar Ristovski (APSU), 6-4, 6-4
Aleksas Tvarijonas (APSU) def. Jorge Cavero (SIU), 6-4, 6-5(6)
Szymon Opieczonek (SIU) def. Iago Seffrin (APSU), 6-2, 6-5(3)
Rafael Cuadrillero (SIU) def. James Mitchell (APSU), 6-1, 6-5(3)
Filip Aleksic (SIU) def. Manuel Montenegro (APSU), 6-4, 6-2