Sept. 13, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's tennis team will begin its fall season Friday morning when it heads to River Forest Tennis Club for the River Forest Invitational Sept. 14-16. The Huskies are coming off a 2012 season in which it won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship with a 21-7 record.
"We're just excited to get back on the court and play this weekend," said Head Coach Patrick Fisher. "There's a couple of new players on the team this year and we're looking forward to seeing how they can help us in the spring."
The event will be held on the clubs outdoor clay courts and will see the likes of Belmont, Butler, IPFW, SIU-Edwardsville, SMU, UIC and Youngstown State, as well as the Huskies. The club was founded in 1905 and was home of U.S. National Clay Court Championships 20 times between 1936 and 1965. American tennis legends Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors are some of the famous names to have graced the courts of River Forest.
"It's an awesome place to play," added Fisher on the tennis club, "there's so much history at the club and it's just a good environment to play. It's a great way to start the season."
Sophomore Dor Amir, who carried a 21-7 record in 2012 en route to first team All-Mid American Conference honors, will look to have the same success as last season, starting this weekend. Amir has never competed in the fall season for Northern Illinois as he came to DeKalb in the spring of 2011. Amir's doubles partner last season, junior Axel Lagerlof, also returns to court for the Cardinal and Black after an overall record of 32-10 last season, including a 21-7 spring register. In doubles last season, Amir and Lagerlof combined for a doubles record of 18-11.
Senior Maximillian Phillips, junior Maksym Lagutin and sophomores Frederic Cadieux and Maksym Lagutin also return to the squad this fall. Cadieux started at NIU in the spring semester and lead NIU in wins (25) and win percentage during the spring (.862).
Northern Illinois will usher in the debuts of freshman Siron Ferront and Southern Miss transfer Jovan Zeljkovic. Ferront comes to the Huskies from Orléans, France, while Zeljkovic still has two seasons left to compete for NIU.
The tournament is one of three for Northern Illinois this fall. Following this weekend, NIU returns to action for the Drake Invitational Sept. 21-23 and will close the fall at the ITA Midwest Regional in East Lansing, Mich. Oct. 18-22.