Filip Planinsek advances to second round of NCAA Tournament men’s singles play

Martha Glen Sease, Contributing Writer

Alabama men’s tennis star freshman, Filip Planinsek, is advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament Men’s singles play in Champaign, Illinois. 

Planinsek, ranked 25th overall in singles, defeated 40th ranked Andre Illagan from Hawaii 6-3, 6-8, 6-2 on Monday.

Planinsek fell behind 1-3 in the first round before winning five straight games to take the opening set.

Planinsek and Illagan were evenly matched in the second round, with Illagan winning a tiebreak victory 8-6 to move into a final set.

Planinsek dominated in the final set, winning 6-2.

Alabama head coach George Husack called Planinsek’s first round tournament performance “gutsy,” and said Planinsek was “pushed physically and mentally throughout the match.”

Husack credited Planinsek’s serve as a key component of his win.

“He was determined in the end, and we’re all proud of his effort,” Husack said.  

Planinsek is the first SEC Freshman of the Year honoree in Alabama men’s tennis program history, and he is the only SEC first-year student to hold a national ranking in singles.

Planinsek will face Ohio State’s Matej Vocel after Vocel’s 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3 performance in the first round.