No. 8 Wisconsin shuts down No. 9 Purdue, 4-1
MINNEAPOLIS - The eighth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers took full advantage of the near-perfect conditions at the University of Minnesota's Baseline Tennis Center to open the 2006 Big Ten Men's Tennis Championship on Thursday with a solid win over ninth-seeded Purdue. With a 4-1 victory, the Badgers advance to Friday's second-round opener against top-seeded Ohio State at 9 a.m.
Behind a hard-fought win for No. 1 doubles team Nolan Polley and Jeremy Sonkin, the Badgers claimed the doubles point for an early 1-0 advantage. Polley and Sonkin improved to 11-4 overall and 6-4 against league opponents with an 8-6 win over Purdue's Colin Foster and Kurt Zaske. Minutes after that decision, Brennen Phippen and Felipe Bellido clinched the doubles point with a solid 8-3 victory against the Boilermaker's Jose Fuenmayor and Scott Warner at No. 2 doubles.
In singles competition, Polley wasted no time stretching the Badger lead. The 114th-ranked player in the country disposed of Purdue's Scott Warner 6-1, 6-1 to put UW up by two. Polley's doubles parter quickly matched that performance. With a 6-0, 6-3 defeat of Foster, Sonkin put the Badgers' in position to close out the match with a 3-0 lead. But Eric Hodgman gave the Boilermakers hope with a straight-set win over Brennen Phippen in No. 3 singles. The 6-4, 6-0 decision marked Hodgman's third conference triumph of the season, but it was not enough to stifle the Badgers' momentum. Gian Hodgson knocked off Purdue's Griffin Nienber (6-4, 6-4) to clinch the Badgers' first-round victory.
The Badgers improved to 11-11 and 4-7 in conference action.