Jan. 10, 2012
Saturday, Jan. 14 -- vs. Western Michigan (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Live Scoring/Live Video | Promotions: Wii Tennis Tournament | Coach Berque Preview
The University of Michigan men's tennis team (0-0) kicks off the dual-match season on Saturday (Jan. 14) against Western Michigan (0-0) at the Varsity Tennis Center. It is the second consecutive season-opening match against WMU for the Wolverines, who blanked the Broncos (7-0) in Ann Arbor to begin 2011.
This Saturday's dual match will be a contest for the best-of-seven team points. The dual will begin with three doubles matches consisting of eight-game pro sets. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best of three tie-break sets and worth one point towards the team competition. The overall dual match will be decided when one team secures four total points. Matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.
Key Biscayne Individuals Rewind -- The Wolverines posted a combined 8-7 singles record and went 3-3 in doubles in round-robin competition against No. 19 Texas, No. 33 LSU and Denver at the Key Biscayne Individuals last weekend (Fri-Sun., Jan. 6-8). Michigan capped its appearance in decisive fashion, winning 4-of-5 singles matches against Denver on the final day of action. Freshman Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) posted a 2-1 record from the No. 1 singles position, falling just short of the overall singles title with a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Denver's Enej Bonin in the championship match. Petrone opened the event with a pair of wins, including a 7-5, 3-0 ret. decision against Texas's No. 112-ranked Daniel Whitehead.
Scouting Western Michigan -- The Broncos will host a pair of duals against Detroit and Bradley on Thursday (Jan. 12) before coming to Ann Arbor on Saturday. U-M has won six in a row over WMU, including a 7-0 shutout win last season at the VTC. As a team, the Broncos compiled a 56-45 singles mark in the fall, with Nadin Indre leading the way at 12-4. Michigan leads the overall series with WMU, 52-8.
Wolverines in Season Openers
U-M will aim for its ninth straight season-opening victory when it takes the court against Western Michigan on Saturday. Five of those wins have come against Western Michigan, with Michigan earning victories in 2004 (6-1), 2005 (5-2), 2006 (4-3), 2008 (7-0), 2009 (6-1) and 2010 (7-0). The other victories in that stretch came against Marquette in 2007 (W, 7-0) and Vanderbilt in 2010 (W, 4-3). Western Michigan handed U-M a loss in its 2003 season opener (4-3). Michigan is 6-1 in season openers under head coach Bruce Berque.
Michigan at the Varsity Tennis Center
Michigan is 58-19 (.753) since the 2005 season and is 118-39 (.752) overall at the Varsity Tennis Center since the facility opened in 1997.
King of the Court -- Junior Evan King concluded fall play with a solid 12-4 record in singles competition, facing ranked opposition in 10 of his 16 matches. He earned an at-large selection to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships (Nov. 3-6), where he went 2-1, after claiming runner-up honors at the Midwest Regional (Oct. 14-17). Among his victories, King defeated Ohio State's No. 2 Blaz Rola (7-5, 7-5) and the Buckeyes' No. 5 Chase Buchanan (5-7, 6-0, 6-3). King also went 8-3 during fall doubles action.
Where We Rank -- Michigan earned a No. 32 preseason listing. All-American Evan King comes in at No. 6 in the first edition of the 2012 rankings, climbing two spots from his No. 8 fall ranking, while U-M's top doubles tandem of King and sophomore Shaun Bernstein list No. 22. [ ITA Rankings ]
The Captains -- At the conclusion of the fall season, junior Evan Kingand sophomore Shaun Bernstein were voted by their teammates to serve as team co-captains for the 2012 season. King, the Wolverines' lone upperclassman, earned 2011 ITA All-America honors and is a two-time All-Big Ten Conference selection. He posted a 30-9 record, including a 21-3 dual record, as a sophomore last season and reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA Individual Championships. Bernstein registered a 22-17 singles record, including a 6-4 mark in Big Ten duals, during his rookie campaign last season and went 16-17 in doubles competition.
A Look Back -- The Wolverines posted a 13-11 record in 2010-11 and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the sixth consecutive season. Junior Evan King became the program's 22nd All-American -- the third under head coach Bruce Berque -- after reaching the NCAA Sweet 16. King and Jason Jung were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten first team. [ 2010-11 Statistics ]
Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Bruce Berque is in his eighth year at the helm of the Wolverine program, compiling a 109-73 overall record and 42-18 Big Ten mark over his tenure. Berque has led the Wolverines to six consecutive NCAA Championships berths, including the 2008 Sweet 16, and has finished among the top four of the Big Ten in six of seven seasons. Mark Merklein is in his first season as Michigan's assistant coach after joining the staff this past summer. A former ATP tour professional (1994-2005) and NCAA singles (1994) and doubles (1993) champion while at Florida, Merklein spent the previous six years as a national coach with the USTA Player Development Center in Boca Raton, Fla. [ Merklein Hired as Assistant Coach for Wolverine Program ]
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Saturday, Jan. 21 -- vs. Duke (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423