Weekly #2: U-M to Host TCU Saturday to Begin Dual Season
Alex Petrone

Jan. 14, 2013

Season Preview

Saturday, Jan. 19 -- vs. TCU (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Live Scoring/Live Video

The University of Michigan men's tennis team (0-0) kicks off the dual-match season on Saturday (Jan. 19) against TCU (0-0) at 6 p.m. inside the Varsity Tennis Center. This marks the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs and the first match between the two schools since the 2000 NCAA Tournament. U-M is 0-3 in three previous duals with the Horned Frogs.

Dual-Match Format
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. Once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed. No-add scoring will be implemented during doubles play only and a tie-breaker will occur if a doubles match is tied at seven-all. 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. Singles matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.


Wolverines in Season Openers -- U-M will aim for its 10th straight season-opening victory when it takes the court against TCU on Saturday. Six 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), 2011 (7-0) and 2012 (7-0). The other victories in that stretch came against Marquette in 2007 (W, 7-0) and Vanderbilt in 2010 (W, 4-3). Michigan is 8-0 in season openers under head coach Bruce Berque.

Michigan at the Varsity Tennis Center -- The Wolverines have been tough to beat at the Varsity Tennis Center since the facility opened in 1997. Michigan is 67-21 (.761) since the 2005 season and is 127-41 (.756) overall at the complex.

Scouting TCU --The Horned Frogs begin their first spring season as a member of the Big 12 Conference with a pair of dual matches in Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 19). TCU will square off with Detroit at 9 a.m. before concluding the day with a 6 p.m. match with the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. As a team, the Horned Frogs compiled a 52-32 singles mark in the fall, with Arnau Dachs leading the way at 11-3.

Where We Rank -- Michigan earned a No. 20 preseason ranking, released Jan. 3 (new rankings come out Jan. 22). Sophomore Vlad Stefan comes in at No. 48 in the first edition of the 2013 rankings, climbing 14 spots from his No. 62 fall ranking, while U-M's top doubles tandem of Evan King and Shaun Bernstein are ranked 30th. [ ITA Rankings ]

Key Biscayne Individuals Rewind -- The Wolverines posted a combined 11-10 singles record and went 4-6 in doubles in round-robin competition against No. 23 Texas, No. 24 LSU and No. 54 Denver at the Key Biscayne Individuals Jan. 6-8. Senior Evan King was crowned the event's individual champion after posting a 3-0 record at the No. 1 singles position and a 2-1 mark at the top of the doubles lineup. King clinched the individual title by earning a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Texas' Sudanwa Sitaram on Tuesday (Jan. 8). He opened the event with a pair of singles wins, including a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Denver's No. 47-ranked Enej Bonin. King also claimed a pair of doubles decisions, teaming with junior Alex Buzzi to defeat the Texas tandem of Chris Camillone and David Holiner, 8-5, before the U-M pair earned an 8-5 win over the LSU pair of Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski.

King Helps Team USA Capture International Crown -- Senior Evan King was recently a member of the American National Team that won the 2012 Master'U BNP Paribas championship with a 5-2 victory against Germany on Sunday, Dec. 9. King was one of only six student-athletes selected to lead the United States in the competition. The U.S. won three matches over a five-day span to capture the title in the eight-team international competition. King finished last season with a career-best 34-7 record. He was named the 2012 Big Ten Athlete of the Year after posting a perfect 11-0 conference dual record from the No. 1 singles position. King went 3-3 in singles competition this fall and posted a 3-2 doubles record with teammate Shaun Bernstein.

The Captains -- At the conclusion of the fall season, juniors Shaun Bernstein and Barrett Franks were voted by their teammates to serve as team co-captains for the 2013 season. Bernstein went 22-13 in doubles competition and 8-20 in singles play during his sophomore campaign last season. Franks posted an 18-19 singles record, including a 16-10 dual record, as a sophomore last season.

A Look Back -- The Wolverines posted an 18-8 record in 2011-12 and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the seventh consecutive season. With its 9-2 record in Big Ten play, Michigan registered its most conference wins since also tallying nine in 1999. The Wolverines' runner-up performance was the program's best Big Ten finish since placing second in 2007. Evan King, who finished the season with a career-best 34-7 singles record, went a perfect 11-0 in Big Ten dual competition on his way to earning Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year. He earned ITA All-America honors for the second straight season. King was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten first team, while Alex Petrone, the ITA Midwest Region Rookie of the Year, was an All-Big Ten second team selection. [ 2011-12 Statistics ]

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Bruce Berque is in his ninth year at the helm of the Wolverine program, compiling a 126-81 overall record and 51-20 Big Ten mark over his tenure. Berque has led the Wolverines to seven consecutive NCAA Championships berths, including the 2008 Sweet 16, and has finished among the top four of the Big Ten in seven of eight seasons. Mark Merklein is in his second season as Michigan's assistant coach after joining the staff prior to the 2011-12 season. 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.


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Friday, Jan. 25 -- vs. Santa Clara - ITA Kick-Off Weekend, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- vs. Boise State or California - ITA Kick-Off Weekend, 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423