This Week in Michigan Men's Tennis: Illinois, Northwestern
Barrett Franks

April 2, 2013

Saturday, April 6 -- vs. Illinois (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 7 -- vs. Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

Event Coverage: Live Video/Live Scoring
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The University of Michigan men's tennis team (9-7 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) returns home this weekend to host a pair of Big Ten Conference duals at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M will face Illinois (11-7, 4-1 Big Ten) at noon on Saturday (April 6) before closing out the homestand with a noon match against Northwestern (17-5, 3-2 Big Ten) on Sunday (April 7).

This Weekend's Promotional Events
Come out to the Varsity Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday to help cheer the Wolverines on to victory against two Big Ten opponents. The first 100 fans in attendance at Saturday's match against Illinois will receive free pizza. Fans will also have an opportunity to enter a free Michigan tennis raffle. Prizes include gift certificates to Ann Arbor Rec & Ed and the Varsity Tennis Center.

On Sunday, U-M will hold its annual Michigan Tennis Kids Day on Campus. Members of the Michigan men's tennis team will conduct a free 30-minute youth tennis clinic following the team's match against Northwestern. The clinic is open to children in eighth grade or under. All kids participating in the clinic should bring their own racket and wear non-marking shoes.

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


• After adding three more victories to his resume last weekend, senior Evan King owns the U-M program record for most combined career singles and doubles wins. King upped his career total to 183 wins (106 singles, 77 doubles), surpassing Peter Pusztai's mark of 180 career triumphs (115 singles, 65 doubles) for the most combined victories in school history.

• Senior Evan King picked up his 106th career singles victory with his 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision over Indiana's Josh MacTaggart on March 31. King, who ranks third on U-M's all-time singles wins list, is 15-1 in dual-match competition and 21-4 overall this season.

• On March 6, senior Evan King became only the fifth Wolverine in program history to post 100 career singles victories, accomplishing the feat by defeating Pepperdine's seventh-ranked Sebastian Fanselow, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 1 singles position. The victory also marked King's second top-10 win of the season.

• On March 13, senior Evan King collected his third Big Ten Athlete of the Week accolade of the season after putting together a 3-0 road trip. King has garnered Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors on nine occasions during his Wolverine career.

• Junior Barrett Franks has won seven consecutive matches -- including two in a row from the No. 3 spot -- and is 13-2 in dual-match competition. He trails only senior Evan King in dual wins this year.

• Illinois enters the weekend with an 11-7 record on the season and a 4-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Illini are coming off their first loss of the conference season, a 4-3 loss at Minnesota last Sunday (March 31). Illinois Jared Hiltzik is ranked No. 42 in the latest ITA singles rankings, while the Illini tandem of Farris Gosea and Tim Kopinksi come in at No. 61 in the latest doubles rankings. Michigan leads the all-time series against Illinois by a 64-33-2 margin, but the Illini have taken five of the last six meetings.

• The Wildcats carry a 17-5 record and are 3-2 in Big Ten play after splitting a pair of matches road matches against Minnesota (L, 4-3) and Wisconsin (W, 5-2) last weekend. The Wolverines own a 68-25-1 advantage in the all-time series against Northwestern and have won each of the last 11 meetings, including a 5-2 triumph last season in Ann Arbor.

• Senior Evan King clinched Michigan's first two wins of the season, while junior Barrett Franks has secured four U-M victories. King clinched the Wolverines' home opener against TCU (Jan. 19) and the squad's neutral-site win over Santa Clara (Jan. 25), while Franks secured victories against Princeton (Feb. 1) and Wake Forest (Feb. 3) at the VTC, and on the road at LSU (March 17) and at Purdue (March 29). Junior Alex Buzzi picked up his first dual-clinching victory of the season last Saturday against Wisconsin (March 23), earning a 6-3, 7-6 (3) decision over Alexander Kokorev at the No. 6 position. Junior Shaun Bernstein clinched the winning point for the Wolverines against Indiana (March 31) with a come-from-behind win at the No. 6 singles position. Bernstein trailed Chris Essick 5-1 in the third set before catching fire from that point forward, winning the next six games to secure the match for Michigan with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 decision.

• Michigan is listed as the No. 34-ranked team in the latest ITA national rankings, released last Tuesday (March 25). Evan King is listed at No. 15 in the fifth edition of the 2013 ranking, while sophomore Vlad Stefan is 98th in the latest ITA singles rankings. U-M's top doubles tandem of King and junior Shaun Bernstein is No. 12 in the country, while the pairing of King and junior Alex Buzzi is ranked 30th.

• The Wolverines have claimed the doubles point in nine of 16 dual matches this season, combining for a 21-16 doubles record. Senior Evan King and junior Shaun Bernstein own a 7-2 mark at the No. 1 position, while the tandem of King and junior Alex Buzzi are 4-0 together at the top of the lineup. U-M is 6-3 when winning the doubles point this season and 3-4 when dropping the initial point.

• Michigan is off to a 4-2 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 71-23 (.755) since the 2005 season and is 131-43 (.753) overall at the complex.

Saturday, April 12
-- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 4 p.m. CDT
Sunday, April 14
-- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 11 a.m. CDT

Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423