Wisconsin earns definitive 6-1 win over Nebraska

first_imgWisconsin wrapped up its regular season with a 6-1 victory over No. 62 Nebraska Sunday afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on Senior Day.“It was a special day for the seniors,” head coach Greg Van Emburgh said after the match. “They really embraced the moment in their last home match here at Nielsen Tennis Stadium and played great tennis. I think they were really excited to play today.”The Badgers (13-11, 4-7 Big Ten) claimed the doubles point with a 2-0 victory over the Cornhuskers (10-14, 2-9 Big Ten).First to finish was UW’s No. 1 pairing of seniors Billy Bertha and Alexander Kostanov, ranked No. 88 in the country, who defeated Dusty Boyer and Marc Herrmann, 8-6.At court two, Alexander Kokorev and Oskar Wikberg, playing together for just the second time all season, fought through a tough match against Brandon Videtich and Bradford Zitsch to pull out an 8-6 victory. With the doubles point already clinched, Jakhongir Jalalov and Petr Satral had their match against Tom Blackwell and Sebastian Florczyk called at 7-4.“[Coach told us] to keep the intensity up, to keep executing, and to keep being loud and vocal while finishing the big points,” freshman Jakhongir Jalalov said. “[Winning the doubles point] gives us confidence before starting singles play because we are up 1-0, so it relieves stress from our shoulders.”The Badgers came out of the gate firing in singles play by taking five of the six opening sets. Satral was the first to finish his match after defeating Andre Stenger, 6-3, 6-4, in what was his first career win at the No. 1 court.“The one thing we really harped on was getting good starts in singles,” Van Emburgh said. “It felt like we were really able to do that and it was great to see the guys step up today and play some great singles.”After Bertha dropped his final match at Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the No. 3 court, 6-3, 6-4, to Herrmann, the Badgers countered with a 6-3, 6-3 victory on court No. 5 as Jalalov defeated Andrew Dzulynsky.The eventual victory was clinched on court No. 6 where Kokorev handled Cornhusker Scott Elsass with relative ease en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win.Kostanov found himself in the midst of a tough second-set battle as he trailed 5-3 to Boyer after winning the first set 6-1. The senior was able to fight through, however, and come back to win the second set in the tiebreak, 7-6 (7-5).Court No. 4 was where the Badgers claimed their sixth point of the day as Blackwell of Nebraska was forced to retire due to an ankle injury, giving Wikberg the 6-0, 5-7, 3-2 victory.The Badgers will now turn their focus to Ohio as they enter the Big Ten Tournament, which begins Thursday. Their first round matchup against Purdue will decide which team earns the right to take on top-seeded Ohio State, who is coming off of its eighth consecutive Big Ten regular season conference title.No matter their opponent, this Badger squad believes it can play with the best of them.“Coach keeps telling us that once the match gets close, we need to step up and take the big matches,” Jalalov said. “We feel like we can play with everyone who we’ve played so far and that’s a great feeling.”Van Emburgh echoed Jalalov’s sentiments, saying, “I’ve been telling [the team] that we need to be confident and have a lot of belief. When you’re playing three or four freshman, they don’t quite get it until they’re in the battle. Right now, the only team in our conference who stands above the others is Ohio State but I feel like on any given day, we can play even with any team.”As for the tournament, their preparation is a segmented process.“We want to try and have a good practice Tuesday before we leave on Wednesday,” Van Emburgh said. “Get ready for Thursday’s first round match and, from there, take it one match at a time.”last_img

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