University of Wisconsin men’s tennis is not done with their hot start to the season.
The No. 30 Badgers (13-1 overall, 3-0 Big Ten) are winners of seven-straight games — the last three coming against ranked opponents — ahead of their match against No. 14 Northwestern (17-2 overall, 3-0 Big Ten). A win over the Wildcats would be the team’s first victory over a top-20 opponent since 2010 when they defeated No. 13 Illinois 4-1, but it will not be easy.
The Badgers will need to travel to Evanston, where Northwestern has remained unbeaten in 13-straight matches dating back to last season. In the Wildcats’ nine home games this season, they’ve only dropped nine total points.
Northwestern is led by two top-50 singles players, No. 13 Konrad Zieba (10-4) and No. 42 Sam Shropshire (8-4), and No. 97 Strong Kirchheimer (15-1) at the first, second and third singles spots. The three haven’t kept a consistent lineup and are likely to be switched around as head coach Arvid Swan sees fit.
But the Badgers and Wildcats each faced TCU earlier on the season, which could give some insight as to what individual matches will look like on Saturday. Zieba is likely to face off against Josef Dodridge (9-3) at first singles in a quicker paced match, followed by Shropshire vs. Alexander Kokorev (6-7) at second singles and capped by Kirchheimer vs. Lamar Remy (9-4).
Last time out
Wisconsin had a packed weekend coming off spring break, during which team handled No. 56 Iowa in a 4-1 win Friday, but had to fight back to defeat No. 71 Nebraska 4-3 Sunday.
The Badgers dropped the opening doubles point against the Cornhuskers and quickly found themselves down 3 to 1 in the match after Dodridge and Kokorev fell in their matches. Remy won in three sets in the third spot, followed by Osgar O’Hoisin and Chema Carranza to tie the match at three.
With all eyes on the final match, John Zordani defeated his opponent in three sets, winning the final game 6-4 to complete the comeback. The match showcased a gritty side to the Badgers, one which they’ll need to defeat a tough opponent on the road.
First serve is 6 p.m. Friday.