Illini Highlight 2017 JSM Challenger Field

With less than a week until the 22nd-annual JSM Challenger at the Atkins Tennis Center on November 11-18, the USTA released the acceptance list for this year’s tournament. Highlighting the field are three former and current Illini, Jared Hiltzik, Dennis Nevolo and Aleks Vukic as well as one Top-100 player, Tennys Sandgren.

Hiltzik returns to Champaign from Tampa, Florida, where he is currently training, while also playing on the pro circuit. The Wilmette, Illinois native, has won two titles in 2017, the Israel F6 doubles title and the USA F12 singles title. Current Illini senior, Aleks Vukic, competes in the draw following a successful year on the pro circuit. The Sydney, Australia, native won his first professional singles title at the 2017 JSM Futures tournament in Champaign on July 29.

Sandgren, who leads the field with an ATP World Tour ranked of No. 85, has a 45-20 record on the Challenger Tour during the 2017 season and returns to Champaign after winning the doubles title at the JSM Challenger in 2016. Henri Laaksonen arrives in Champaign with an ATP World Tour ranking of 103, following a 23-17 showing on the Challenger Tour this season. Laaksonen was a singles finalist at the 2016 JSM Challenger.

The 2017 JSM Challenger begin with singles qualifying play on November 11 and 12, with the singles main draw commencing on November 13. The finals for both singles and doubles are set for Saturday, November 18.