This Week in Michigan Men's Tennis: at Notre Dame

Feb. 12, 2013

Saturday, Feb. 16 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 1 p.m.
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In its lone match of the week, the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (4-2) will travel to South Bend, Ind., on Saturday (Feb. 16) to take on Notre Dame (5-3) at 1 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Dual-Match Format
This weekend's dual match will be contests 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.


• Senior Evan King extended his singles winning streak to nine matches with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Duke's 23rd-ranked Fred Saba last Sunday in Durham, N.C. King is 9-0 since the calendar turned to 2013 and is 12-3 overall this season. He has faced ranked opponents in nine of those 15 matches.

• On Feb. 6, senior Evan King collected his second Big Ten Athlete of the Week accolade of the season after putting together a 4-0 weekend, which included a straight-sets upset win over Princeton's No. 2-ranked Matija Pecotic. The victory over Pecotic gave King a win over the highest ranked opponent of his collegiate career, eclipsing his three-set win against Illinois' No. 4-ranked Dennis Nevolo last April. On Jan. 9, King secured his first Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Week accolade of the season after winning the individual title at the Key Biscayne Individuals (Jan. 6-8).

• This weekend's match will mark the 74th meeting between Michigan and Notre Dame. The Wolverines are 44-29 all-time against the Fighting Irish, but Notre Dame has won seven of the last 10 meetings overall.

• Each of the last three encounters between the two programs has been decided by a 4-3 score. Michigan claimed victories in 2010 and 2011, while the Fighting Irish earned a narrow win last season at the Varsity Tennis Center.

• Notre Dame enters the week at 5-3 after defeating No. 48-ranked Michigan State, 6-1, last Saturday in East Lansing. The Fighting Irish have won three of its last four matches -- including two top-50 victories -- after starting the dual-match season at 2-2. Notre Dame's top singles player, Greg Andrews, owns a No. 80 ranking, while the Fighting Irish doubles tandem of Andrews and Spencer Talmadge come in at No. 51 in the first ITA listings.

• Notre Dame will represent the Wolverines' fifth ranked opponent in seven matches.

• Michigan is listed as the No. 21-ranked team in the latest ITA national rankings, released last Tuesday (Feb. 5). Winner of nine consecutive matches, senior Evan King is back in the rankings this week, listed at No. 16 in the second edition of the 2013 rankings. Junior Vlad Stefan fell a couple spots in the singles rankings but comes in at No. 50. U-M's top doubles tandem of King and junior Shaun Bernstein shot up to the No. 9 position, while the pairing of King and junior Alex Buzzi is ranked 32nd. 

• Senior Evan Kinghas moved into seventh place on U-M's all-time singles win list with 97. With one more win, he will move into a tie with William Farah (1996-98) at No. 6.

• The Wolverines have claimed the doubles point in four of six dual matches this season, combining for an 8-6 doubles record. Senior Evan King and junior Shaun Bernstein own a 4-1 mark at the No. 1 position, including an 8-4 decision over Princeton's 11th-ranked tandem of Zack McCourt and Matija Pecotic on Feb. 1. U-M is undefeated when winning the doubles point this season.

• Michigan is off to a 3-0 start at the Varsity Tennis Center this season. The Wolverines have been tough to beat at the VTC since the facility opened in 1997. Michigan is 70-21 (.769) since the 2005 season and is 130-41 (.760) overall at the complex.

• Head coach Bruce Berque is in his ninth year at the helm of the Wolverine program, compiling a 131-83 overall record and 57-24 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 his eight previous 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.

• 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.

Wednesday, Feb. 27
-- vs. Tulsa (Varsity Tennis Center), 7 p.m.