Feb. 23, 2014
Feb. 23, 2014
MADISON, Wis. --The Badgers posted their second win over a ranked opponent this season, knocking off No. 54 Denver, 4-1, Sunday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
In doubles action, the Badgers made some changes in the lineup, pairing sophomore Alexander Kokorev with freshman John Zordani at No. 2 doubles and sophomore Oskar Wikberg and freshman Elliott Sprecher at No. 3 doubles.
The changes worked.
Wikberg and Sprecher claimed the Badgers first victory of the day, defeating Fabio Biasion and Alex Clinkenbeard, with a final score of 8-4.
Senior Petr Satral and sophomore Jakhongir Jalalov battled back from a deficit but weren’t able to defeat Alex Gasson and Yannik James, falling 8-3.
In a back and forth battle that ended up being the determiner of the doubles point, Kokorev and Zordani defeated Henry Craig and Diogo Rocha, by a final score of 8-6.
Head Coach Greg Van Emburgh was pleased with the improvements his team made Sunday.
"We did a great job at No. 2 and No. 3 at taking care of business and getting that doubles point," Van Emburgh said. "We had talked before the match about how important it was, and it really made the difference today in the outcome of the match.”
In singles action, Zordani opened up strong dominating Eric Marbach with a final score of 6-1, 6-1.
“Zordani has done a great job,” Van Emburgh said. “He was focused and determined in the doubles, playing at a two-spot with a new partner and he just really took that momentum into the singles. He got on top of his opponent and really never looked back.”
Satral gained some momentum in his second set but wasn’t able to hang on, falling 6-0, 6-3 to Diogo Rocha at No. 3 singles.
Wikberg upset No. 83 Henry Craig pulling away in the second set with a final score of 7-5, 6-2.
“Obviously it’s really tough because he was a good player,” Wikberg said. “I think I prepared well and I just felt like I was the better player and that allowed me to come out on top.”
“Wikberg is one of those guys that’s just such a tough out,” Van Emburgh said. “His opponent, Craig is ranked. He was down 3-0 in the first set, but you can never count him out. He showed how determined he is to win tennis matches and how much heart he puts into the game.”
Sprecher sealed the victory for UW, claiming his match against Yannik James, with a final decision of 6-2, 6-3.
“Sprecher’s opponent was a great player,” Van Emburgh added. “They had 25 to 30 ball rallies and Elliott just really stepped up. I’m just so proud of him and how tough he has become in such a short amount of time.
“I think this was a great example of what we’ve been talking about at practices and prior to the matches about being very competitive, very tough and as strong mentally as we possibly can be. They’re really starting to show me what they’re made of.”
The Badgers will return to action Wednesday to host Marquette at 6 p.m. (CT) at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
WISCONSIN 4 DENVER 1
1). Craig/Rocha (DU) def. Satral/Jalalov (WIS) 8-3
2). Kokorev/Zordani (WIS) def. Gasson/James (DU) 8-6
3). Wikberg/Sprecher (WIS) def. Biasion/Clinkenbeard (DU) 8-4
Order of Finish: (3, 1, 2)
1). Oskar Wikberg (WIS) def. Henry Craig (DU) 7-5, 6-2
2). Alexander Kokorev (WIS) v. Alex Gasson (DU) 6-7, 2-4 unfinished
3). Diogo Rocha (DU) def. Petr Satral (WIS) 6-0, 6-3
4). Jakhongir Jalalov (WIS) v. Alex Clinkenbeard (DU) 6-4, 3-5 unfinished
5). Elliott Sprecher (WIS) def. Yannik James (DU) 6-2, 6-3
6). John Zordani (WIS) def. Eric Marbach (DU) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: (6, 3, 1, 5)