Staff Report: SPORTS

The Tennessee men’s tennis team won 10 of its 11 matches, including seven singles victories, on the first day of competition at the Fighting Illini Invitational. 

MTSU was the first victim of Tennessee’s dominant performances, as the Vols swept the Blue Raiders in three doubles matches. 

Senior Emile Hudd and freshman Shunsuke Mitsui stayed hot in doubles play, as the 48th ranked doubles pairing reigned supreme over MTSU’s 21st ranked duo Stijn Slump and Pavel Motl, 6-4. The Big Orange duo is now 9-1 in doubles matches this fall, and Mitsui raised his overall record in doubles to 14-2. 

The nation’s 33rd ranked pairing of senior Martim Prata and sophomore Johannus Monday blanked MTSU’s twosome Chris Edge and Oskar Brostrom Poulsen, 6-0. Graduate senior Mark Wallner and junior Angel Diaz won impressively versus Francisco Rocha and Stepan Holis of MTSU, 6-1.

The Vols carried the momentum from doubles play into singles, as they won seven of the eight matches on Friday. 

Adam Walton earned his 99th career singles victory on Friday, as the fifth ranked player took down 109th ranked Stijn Slump of MTSU, 6-2, 6-3. On Saturday, Walton has a chance to become the 11th Volunteer all-time to reach 100 career wins. 

Sixth-ranked Monday conquered 38th ranked Rocha of MTSU, 6-4, 6-1. Prata, the 29th ranked singles player, triumphed versus Poulsen, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3. No. 95 Hudd fended off Holis in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

Wallner handled Lucas Oliviera, 6-1, 6-1, of MTSU, and Mitsui continued his doubles success to singles defeating Motl, 6-4, 6-1. Freshman Conor Gannon racked up the last singles victory convincingly over Mattia Bernardi, 6-4, 6-1, and the lone singles loss on the day happened when Diaz couldn’t hang on against Edge in a second set tiebreak 6-4, 7-6(4).

Tennessee will start day two of the Fighting Illini Invitational at 11 a.m. EST, as it takes on the host Illinois.

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