Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 19, 2024

Men's Tennis: Wisconsin ends skid, then falls to Indiana

Apparently all bad things do come to an end, as the No. 75 Badgers finally halted their seven-meet losing streak Friday at Nielsen Indoor Tennis stadium against No. 58 Purdue, beating the Boilermakers 4-3. However, it was not a walk in the park for the Badgers, as the meet lasted about four hours, and almost every match was highly contested.

The doubles squad started off hot as seniors Billy Bertha and Alexander Kostanov defeated Purdue senior Krisztian Krocsko and junior Szymon Tatarczyk at No. 1 doubles, 8-5. Unfortunately for UW, the rest of the Badgers could not finish the deal and earn the doubles point as junior Petr Satral and freshman Alexander Kokorev lost 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, and the dynamic freshman duo of Oskar Wikberg and Jakhongir Jalalov lost a grueling 8-6 match at No. 3 doubles.

It was up to the singles team, which had struggled immensely during the losing streak, to save the Badgers. At first, it looked like the recent trend would continue as Satral lost 1-6, 3-6, at No. 1 singles and freshman Frederik Strabo lost 2-6, 2-6 at No. 6 singles.

However, Kostanov easily took care of his opponent 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles, and the tide started to turn in the Badgers’ favor. First, Jalalov broke through in his first set, winning the set tiebreaker 7-5, and then finished off his opponent by winning three-straight games to earn a 6-4 second-set victory.

Next, Bertha, who lost his first set 1-6, rallied back in the second set from down 1-3 to force a second-set tiebreaker. A match that seemed like it would end poorly for Bertha suddenly became one of his shining moments of the season, as the senior showed true poise in squeaking out a thrilling set tiebreaker, 9-7. With momentum on his side, the Whitefish Bay, Wis., native finished off the match by winning the third set 6-3.

Then it was all up to the freshman Wikberg to end the streak. The match started off hotly contested as the first set ended in a tiebreaker, with Wikberg losing 3-7.

However, he did not hang his head on the poor breaker and instead came back with a fury, winning the second set 6-3. Purdue junior Aaron Dujovne then took an early 1-0 lead in the third set, but that was the only game he managed to win in the set as Wikberg stormed back, closing the match on two fiery aces to win 6-1 and clinch the match for the Badgers, who mobbed Wikberg after his second ace.

Head coach Greg Van Emburgh knew how important the match was, saying that ending the losing streak was huge, and the team’s hard work in practice has finally paid off.

The Badgers only had one day to celebrate their win as they took on No. 56 Indiana Sunday. However, this match did not go their way as IU swept the Badgers 7-0. The score is deceiving, however, as the Badgers lost another contested doubles point, winning one of the matches in a tiebreaker, while both of the other doubles matches were competitive, most notably a 9-7 loss at No. 1 doubles. The singles squad continued to battle and did not go down without a fight as UW collectively forced six tiebreakers, and three of the matches went into a third set. Wisconsin could not break through and win the second set to capture a match. Van Emburgh said, “We have to win the big points, and we just did not do that today.”

Although the Badgers did not get the win Sunday, ending their losing streak Friday will be a huge boost as they prepare to travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes Friday.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal