<
>

UW's Slovic, last player in NCAAs, hands UF's Levine first loss of season

ATHENS, Ga. -- Washington's Alex Slovic, the last man into
the NCAA men's singles draw, made a huge step Saturday to becoming
the last man standing.

Slovic, the fourth alternate in singles, advanced to the
semifinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 upset victory over Florida's Jesse
Levine, the tournament's third seed. It was the first loss of
Levine's college career.

To advance to the finals, Slovic will have to get past
top-seeded John Isner of host Georgia, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Ohio
State's Steven Moneke.

The other semifinal features second-seeded Somdev Devvarman of
Virginia against fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson of Illinois.

Slovic played in the NCAA singles his first three years at
Washington, but a bone spur sidelined him during the fall, setting
him back in his bid for a spot in the tournament.

Slovic arrived in Athens three days before the tournament began,
hoping that a spot would open. A spot opened with fellow Yugoslav
Ivan Bjelica of Mississippi State dropped out.

"He's a good friend of mine," Slovic said. "I sent him a text
message after I got in."

Slovic said he was nervous for his first-round win over Ryan
Rowe of Illinois.

"I knew that Levine was a good player, a really good player,"
he said. "I knew it was going to be a tough match. I knew I had to
play hard."

Levine did not play fall tennis either, because he had yet to
enroll at Florida. He was 24-0 entering Saturday's match.

"We both played a lot of fast points with a lot of movement,"
said Slovic. The match lasted one hour, 55 minutes.

Devvarman, runner-up in the tournament last year, defeated
sixth-seeded Arnau Brugues of Tulsa, 6-0, 6-2.

Anderson beat eighth-seeded Luigi D'Agord of Miami, 6-4, 3-6,
6-4, in a two-hour match.