The No. 45 University of Wisconsin mens tennis team knocked off 66th-ranked Purdue 6-1 in a tightly contested match Saturday afternoon at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. With the win Wisconsin improves to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play, while Purdue falls to 9-6 and 2-1.
The Badgers jumped out to the early lead by winning the doubles point. With wins at No. 1 and No.3, Wisconsin took the 1-0 lead.
Senior Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic) got things started with an 8-2 victory at No. 3 doubles. By defeating the pair of Paul Foley and Eric Ramos, Sonkin and Michalicka improve to 1-2 in dual matches, 1-2 in the Big Ten and 1-0 at the No. 3 spot.
The clinching point for doubles came at No. 1 when senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and sophomore Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) defeated Patrick Rose and Branko Kuzmanovic 8-4. With the win, Polley and Baumann are now 5-4 in dual matches, 3-1 in the Big Ten and 3-3 at the No. 1 spot.
Purdue was able to come out on top at No. 2 doubles. Slavko Bijelica and Griff Nienberg defeated the Badger team of sophomores Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) 8-6. The Wisconsin duo falls to 1-2 on the year, 1-2 in the Big Ten and 0-1 at the No. 2 spot.
Wisconsin extended its lead to 2-0 when Baumann cruised at No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kuzmanovic. Baumann fell behind 1-2 in the first set before prevailing and 0-1 in the second set before taking the next six games. Baumann improves to 7-6 in dual matches and at the No. 1 spot and to 3-1 in Big Ten play.
Purdue cut the lead to 2-1 with a victory at No. 5 singles. Ramos knocked off Bellido 6-3, 6-2 to post the lone Boilermakers victory on the day. With the loss Bellido falls to 8-4 on the season, 1-2 in Big Ten play and 4-3 at the No. 5 position.
Polley gave Wisconsin a 3-1 lead with his win at the No. 2 spot. He topped Bijelica with a 7-5, 6-2 victory for his 10th victory in a row. Polley fell behind 1-2 in the first and second sets before securing the win. He is now 12-3 this year, 4-0 in the Big Ten and 5-3 at the No. 2 spot.
The Badgers got the clinching victory when Dierberger came out on top at No. 6 singles. Facing Foley, Dierberg won with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) decision. After not trailing in the first set, Dierberger trailed for much of the second. Trailing 6-5, Dierberger forced a tiebreaker and was able to pull out a 7-3 win in the tiebreaker. He is now 9-3 overall, 3-0 in the Big Ten and 4-2 at the No. 6 position.
Michalicka pushed the lead to 5-1 with his win at the No. 3 spot over Rose. The score was 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Michalicka jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set but had to hold off Roses rally that saw score the score get to 5-4. Rose easily took the second set with a 6-1 score, but Michalicka came back strong in the third frame to push his mark to 15-1 overall. He is now 3-1 in the conference and 4-0 at the No. 3 spot.
The last match of the day saw Sonkin prevail at No. 4 singles. Facing Nienberg, Sonkin dropped the first set 6-3. He came back though and took set number two 6-1. With the team match already decided, Sonkin and Nienberg played a super-tiebreaker. Sonkin dominated the tiebreaker and posted a 10-4 victory.
The Badgers return to action tomorrow when No. 16 Illinois comes to Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Match time is set for 12 p.m. A live blog will be running once again, so be sure to check back to uwbadgers.com for the link.