Michigan Takes Command in Singles to Upend No. 6 Duke

Feb. 26, 2011

Notes & Quotes

Site: Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
Score: #23 Michigan 4, #6 Duke 3
Records: Michigan (6-3), Duke (9-4)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 3 -- at Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), 3 p.m. HST

DURHAM, N.C. -- Senior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) lifted the No. 23-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team to an upset victory at No. 6 Duke, 4-3, on Saturday (Feb. 26) at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. Jung defeated Chris Mengel, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2 to secure the victory for the Wolverines.

It was the second time Michigan and Duke faced each other this season, with the Blue Devils winning 7-0 back on Jan. 28 in the opening round of ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Duke moved up to No. 6 following a semifinals appearance at the ITA National Team Indoors Championships, giving Michigan its first victory over a top-10 opponent in almost a year. The Wolverines last defeated a top-10 opponent on March 4, 2010, when they defeated then-No. 10 California, 5-2, in San Diego, Calif.

The match started with a battle for the doubles point. Michigan switched its lineups around, splitting its top-ranked tandem coming into the match. Sophomore Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) teamed with freshman Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') at No. 2 to defeat Fred Saba and Torsten Wietoska (Duke), 8-3, to give Michigan an early advantage. Duke won at No. 3 to eliminate the Wolverines' advantage, sending the point to the No. 1 court. Senior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and freshman Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) fought back and forth with the nation's No. 9 team of Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha (Duke), but the Wolverines' pair lost, 9-8 (3).

The Blue Devils also got off to a quick start in singles, increasing their lead to 2-0 after a straight set victory at No. 4. Freshman Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) snapped a three-match losing streak with a win at No. 6 over David Holland (Duke), 6-3, 6-2. King continued his recent string of dominance at the No. 1 spot with a win over the nation's sixth-ranked player, Reid Carleton (Duke), winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. It was King's sixth-straight singles win -- the last five coming against ranked opponents -- and his first career victory over a top-10 player.

Duke won at No. 3 to retake the lead at 3-2, but Franks once again knotted things up, defeating Luke Marchese (Duke), 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. All eyes then turned to No. 2, as Jung, Michigan's senior captain, defeated Chris Mengel, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

The spring break trip continues next week, as Michigan heads to the Pacific for a mid-week match with Hawaii on Thursday (March 3). The match will begin at 3 p.m. HST.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- #48 Evan King (U-M) d. #6 Reid Carleton (Duke), 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 -- #53 Jason Jung (U-M) d. Chris Mengel (Duke), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 -- Fred Saba (Duke) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 -- Jared Pinsky (Duke) d. Chris Madden (U-M), 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Luke Marchese (Duke), 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 -- Justin Rossi (U-M) d. David Holland (Duke), 6-3, 6-2

No. 1 -- #9 Henrique Cunha/Reid Carleton (Duke) d. Jason Jung/Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 9-8 (3)
No. 2 -- Evan King/Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Fred Saba/Torsten Wietoska (Duke), 8-3
No. 3 -- Chris Mengel/David Holland (Duke) d. Chris Cha/Chris Madden (U-M), 8-4

Order of Completion: Doubles 2-3-1, Singles 4-6-1-3-5-2*
* Clinched match


• Michigan improves to 3-7 all-time against Duke.

• The win over Duke was Michigan's fifth straight over a top-25 opponent.

• Michigan dropped the doubles point for the eighth consecutive match. It has not won the doubles point since the season opener on Jan. 15 against Western Michigan. The Wolverines are 5-3 when losing the doubles point this season.

• King and Jung were split up in doubles for the first time all season. The two had previously played in all eight matches at No. 1 doubles. They are ranked No. 39 in the country.

• Senior Chris Madden made his long-awaited return to the singles lineup against Duke. He was scheduled to play at No. 5 last week against Notre Dame but was scratched. He played at No. 4 against Duke, 6-2, 6­-2. Madden had previously played the last three dual matches in doubles only. He also played at No. 3 doubles with sophomore Chris Cha, his partner from last season.

• Two of Michigan's singles winners (Franks, Jung) lost the first set but still managed to win their matches. The other two (King, Rossi) won in straight sets by identical 6-3, 6-2 scores.

• King is now 8-1 in dual matches this season (all at No. 1), while Jung and Franks are both 7-2. The three are tied for the team lead in overall singles wins (15).

• Duke's Henrique Cunha, ranked No. 10 in the nation in singles, played in doubles but was left out of the singles lineup.


Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On the match ... "What I liked today is what I've liked every match this season. Our guys gave another very consistent, very competitive effort. We didn't necessarily play our best, but we competed well at every court. This is obviously a huge win for us, and the encouraging thing is the we still have some stuff to work on."

On the play at the top of the lineup by Evan King and Jason Jung ... "It's really good. Evan's playing really well right now, improving at a quicker rate, and that's attributed to his practice habits. He's become much better there and more purposeful. The work he's doing during the week is helping him a bit over the weekend. Jason really stepped up and showed why he's a great leader for us, both on and off the court."

On lineup changes ... "Basically, as far as singles goes, we switched Barrett and Justin, and then we inserted Chris to where we thought he would have the best chance to win. Who knows what that will be next time. Even though we'd had Evan at No. 1, I don't think there's much of a difference between him and Jason. And even the guys down, they are all pretty close. We actually liked what we saw in doubles today. That's not the last we'll see of Evan and Jason as our No. 1 team. It's astounding how we are able to consistently come back and beat teams despite losing the doubles point. I say this all the time it seems, but I really feel we are playing better there. There is reason for hope."

On trip to Hawaii ... "Our purpose is to go out there, and play a match outdoors. Hawaii is used to playing there and we aren't. That'll be a challenge. We're going to enjoy the trip, no doubt, but we'll play plenty of tennis. I told the guys before Notre Dame that it's going to be a great trip to Hawaii no matter what, but that trip is going to be that much sweeter if we can go there with two wins over strong teams on the road, and that's what we did. It'll be a nice day or two to travel, but we're going to get out there and get back to work."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423