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Men’s Tennis: Northwestern gets hot to start the new year

Through five matches, the ‘Cats are 4-1.

After four team members competed in the ITA Midwest Regional in late October and Simen Bratholm and Brian Berdusco take home the Big Ten Doubles Tournament trophy in early November, Northwestern men’s tennis began its team season on January 14.

The Wildcats opened their 2022 season with a doubleheader against nearby foe Chicago State. They won both of the matches by scores of 4-0. In each team match, Northwestern won two doubles and three singles matches. First-year Felix Nordby picked up two singles match wins in both halves of the doubleheader, making an impressive debut. In his first match, he picked up a 6-0, 6-2 victory while in the second he won 6-2, 5-2. Senior Trice Pickens also brought in two singles victories for NU.

After their two wins over CSU, the ‘Cats were scheduled to travel to Raleigh, N.C., to take on North Carolina State. However, that match was postponed, so the team remained in Evanston. Just a few days later on January 21, Northwestern took on Memphis at home. The ‘Cats fell 4-2 to the Tigers in a close match. Pickens, who found himself ranked No. 92 in singles competition, picked up a big ranked singles win over No. 88 Jeremy Taylor. Additionally, Northwestern’s Steven Forman upset Memphis’ No. 112-ranked Oscar Cutting in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-3.

Following their home loss to Memphis, the Wildcats remained at home to face both Louisville and IUPUI on January 23. By the end of the day, Northwestern had improved to a 4-1 record, defeating the Cardinals by a score of 4-2 and sweeping the Jaguars by a score of 4-0. It was yet another impressive day for Pickens, as he beat Louisville’s Tin Chan 6-4 and 6-1 in straight sets and then knocked off IUPUI’s Colton Morehart 6-0 and 6-4 in straight sets.

There weren’t any major upsets on January 23. However, Forman looked good yet again for the ‘Cats. He began his day by defeating Louisville’s Etienne Donnet by a score of 6-2, 2-6 and 6-3. After that, in Northwestern’s match against IUPUI, Forman took down Alex Jochim in straight sets, winning 6-2, 6-3.

With the Wildcats off to a 4-1 start, they now have a tremendous opportunity to pick up a ranked victory when they travel down to Chapel Hill this weekend to take on No. 13 North Carolina as part of the ITA Kickoff. Depending on the result of that match, the ‘Cats will either take on Arizona State or No. 6 Ohio State on January 30. Those two clashes will conclude the month of January for Northwestern, as after that, the team won’t play another match until they take on Princeton on February 4 in Evanston.