Chattanooga, TN - Illinois' Ryler DeHeart won his first match in today's singles main draw and won his first doubles match with GD Jones as the Illini won three of five matches on Thursday at the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Tournament today in Chattanooga, Tenn. DeHeart then lost his second match today in the second round, while No. 50 Chris Martin dropped his first singles match as he battled with cramping.
"What a competitor," associate head coach Brad Dancer said of Martin's gutsy performance. "To come back from being down 4-0 in the second and win the set to stay in the match, on top of what he was going through (cramping), showed what a classy athlete he is."
In the morning, No. 95 DeHeart gave the Illini an early victory as he defeated Antonio Sierra of Central Florida 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. As for Martin, his first match didn't fair as well as he came up short battling through cramps most of the match against Federico Veltschi losing 7-5, 5-7, 7-6. Martin was not able to compete in the consolation bracket as he was still suffering from cramps following his morning match; GD Jones served as his replacement.
Jones picked up the Orange and Blue's spirits as he grabbed a victory replacing Martin in the afternoon against UL-Lafayette's Evghenii Corduneau 6-4, 6-1. DeHeart had his opportunities to stay unbeaten on the season, but could not close the deal as he dropped his first match of the season to Pierrick Ysem from San Diego 7-5, 0-6, 6-4.
After both came off of singles matches in the afternoon, they joined forces to pull out a tough 9-8 win over Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta of UCLA. The Illini duo showed a lot of grit after playing a lot of matches the past few days and especially earlier in the day. Illini coach Brad Dancer gave his approval after watching the duo this evening.
"Ryler struggled a little with his serve, but GD really came through serving as well as I've seen this tournament," Dancer said. "They showed how extremely competitive they are by continuing to hang tough when they had to. It ended up paying off tonight."
For complete bracket information please visit www.itatennis.com
Today's Main Draw Results
No. 95 Ryler DeHeart (ILL) def. Antonio Sierra (UCF); 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Federico Veltschi (Montana St.) def. No. 50 Chris Martin (ILL); 7-5, 5-7, 7-6
Pierrick Ysem (San Diego) def. No. 95 Ryler DeHeart (ILL); 7-5, 0-6, 6-4
No. 111 GD Jones (ILL) def. Evghenii Corduneau (UL-Lafayette); 6-4, 6-1
No. 17 DeHeart/Jones (ILL) def. Alberto Francis/Kris Kwinta (UCLA); 9-8
No. 111 GD Jones (ILL) vs. Adrians Zguns (Arkansas); 9 a.m.
No. 17 DeHeart/Jones vs. Nate Grover/Izak Van Der Merwe (Old Dominion); 1 p.m.
Story courtesy the University of Illinois.
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