Slovic Wins Again; Moves Onto NCAA Final Four
May 26, 2007
Athens, Ga. - Husky All-American Alex Slovic continued his Cinderella run through the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship field on Saturday beating previously undefeated freshman Jesse Levine of Florida. Slovic, the only player seeded outside the top eight in the quarterfinals, beat the No. 3 seed Levine 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Slovic came into the match knowing very little about his freshman opponent. Anger purposely did not let his senior player know that Levine had been perfect in 24 singles matches.
'I knew he was playing well,' said Slovic about his opponent. 'But I knew I was playing real well too. His strength was on the baseline, not his serve, so I was able to earn a couple of breaks.'
Slovic dictated much of the action during the match. He grabbed the first set 6-3, only the third set all season long that Levine had loss. Levine rebounded for the second set, but Slovic proved to be too much in the third, cruising to a 6-1 win. Slovic improved to 25-11 on the season, while Levine fell to 24-1.
'He was very solid all the way through,' said Husky Head Coach Matt Anger, who has now coached three Huskies to the NCAA semifinals. 'In the second set, Levine made some excellent shots to get the best of Alex, but he was able to maintain his consistency and really bust through in the third set.'
Slovic learned he earned a berth into the tournament on Monday. Since then he has upset four opponents ranked higher than him, including the tournament's No. 7 and No. 3 overall seeds.
The Athens, Georgia crowds had rallied behind the underdog Slovic in the previous matches, but on Sunday, he can expect to face a hostile environment. Slovic will face John Isner, the No. 1 seed who hails from the host University of Georgia. The 6-foot, 10-inch Isner possesses a lethal service game and Slovic is prepared for a battle in Sunday's final four.
'I'm sure tomorrow is going to be difficult,' said Slovic. 'But, I'm playing well and know I can beat anyone here at the tournament if I play my game. At first I was nervous, because I had struggled at previous NCAA matches, but now I'm comfortable and here to win.'
Time for Sunday's match will be announced later in the evening by the University of Georgia at: www.georgiadogs.com.