Men’s tennis seniors compete in challenger qualifier

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

The seniors on the Eastern men’s tennis team traveled to Champaign to compete in a pre-qualifying event for the ATP Challenger next month hosted by Illinois.

The winner of the tournament earns a wild card spot in next month’s ATP professional challenger also hosted by Illinois.

The qualifier consisted of players in high school to former collegiate athletes.

Seniors Robert Skolik, Ryan Henderson, Rui Silva and Jacob Wendell each competed in two matches on Saturday. Skolik and Henderson both earned a win.

Henderson came back in his second match to get a win after losing to Kallim Stewart, a former University of California at Berkley player in his first match.

Henderson had a hard fought three-set first match, (1-6, 6-4, 1-0[4]).

In his second match Henderson defeated Rachit Singhiv in two sets 6-2, 6-1.

Skolik started his day off strong by defeating freshman Tony Leto of Iowa 6-1, 6-2. But would fall to redshirt junior Alex Jesse 7-6[6], 6-3.

Silva did not get a win but did play two very close matches with his opponents.
Silva took on sophomore Alex Pozo of Southern Illinois-Carbondale in his first match and lost 7-5, 6-4.

He also took on Leto just like Skolik, but Leto was able to grab the three set win.

Leto won the first set 7-6 while Silva got the win in the second 6-1. It came down to the third tie-breaking set, but Leto got the win 1-0[5].

Wendell was also unable to get a win as he lost his first match 6-0, 6-0. He also lost his second match 6-1, 6-0.

“The competition was very tough and overall I think we had a good day,” coach Sam Kercheval said. “I was pleased that the four seniors stepped up and went to this tournament and get some matches in.”


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]