Nevolo, Gonzales End Run at JSM Challenger
URBANA, Ill. - Former Fighting Illini Dennis Nevolo and Ruben Gonzales fell in the semifinal round of doubles play in the JSM Challenger on Friday night at Atkins Tennis Center. The pair got off to a strong start but eventually dropped a 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 thriller to second-seeded Devin Britton and Austin Krajicek, ending a stellar run in the eight-day USTA Pro Circuit tournament.
"I'm really proud of Ruben and Dennis," Illini head coach Brad Dancer said. "I think they made the most of their opportunity, and I think the people that came out to watch them really enjoyed their play, great passion and great energy. It was really fun to watch them."
"Ruben and I had never played together before," Nevolo said. "But we just had so much fun playing together and really complemented each other well. It has been great to be back in Atkins again."
In singles semifinals, sixth-seeded Tim Smyczek downed Rhyne Williams, 7-5, 6-3, while seventh-seeded Jack Sock captured a decisive 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alex Bogdanovic.
In the other doubles match, Jean Andersen and Izak Van der Merwe finished off Bradley Klahn and Denis Kudla, 6-2, 6-4.
Action will resume tomorrow at Noon CT, beginning with the doubles final. The Sock-Smyczek showdown will follow.
"I think we have two really compelling matchups," Dancer said. "The doubles final will feature four guys with really impressive doubles skills and should result in some very entertaining points. In singles, we've got Tim Smyczek, who has been a favorite of Illini fans for years, against one of the rising superstars of American tennis, Jack Sock. We couldn't really ask for a better final matchup than that tomorrow."
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Fans can get in free by presenting their Illinois-Purdue football ticket.
The JSM Challenger marks the final event of the USTA Pro Circuit season. Action will be streamed live at procircuit.usta.com.
Singles - Semifinals
 T Smyczek (USA) def. R Williams (USA) 7-5, 6-3
 J Sock (USA) def. A Bogdanovic (GBR) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles - Semifinals
 D Britton (USA) / A Krajicek (USA) def. [WC] R Gonzales (PHI) / D Nevolo (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 10-8
J Andersen (RSA) / I Van der Merwe (RSA) def. B Klahn (USA) / D Kudla (USA) 6-2, 6-4