Sept. 19, 2012
Update (Sept. 20, 2012) -- Due to a few nagging injuries, Michigan has pulled out of this weekend's UVA Ranked +1 Invitational in Charlottesville, Va. Four Wolverines were scheduled to compete in what would have been Michigan's first fall tournament of 2012-13. The Wolverines will officially kick off their fall slate at the ITA All American Championships (Oct. 1-7) at Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's tennis team opens the fall portion of its 2012-13 schedule this weekend (Fri-Sun., Sept. 21-23) at the UVA Ranked +1 Invitational at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va. Four Wolverines will compete in the first of Michigan's eight fall tournaments. Juniors Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK HS) and Spencer Newman (Miami, Fla./Kaplan College Preparatory) and sophomores Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National HS) will all compete in the tournament's singles draw, while the tandems of Newman and Petrone and Bernstein and Zhu will participate in the doubles bracket.
Joining U-M at the tournament are Cornell, George Washington, Illinois, Louisville, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Carolina State, UNC Wilmington, Penn State, Radford, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, William & Mary and host Virginia.
Ranked Wolverines -- Senior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan HS) enters his final season as the No. 4-ranked singles player in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). It marks a career-high national ranking for King, whose previous career-best national ranking was No. 6 on Jan. 3, 2012, and April 30, 2012. He is the lone Wolverine to crack into the top five during head coach Bruce Berque's nine-year tenure at Michigan.
Joining King in the year's first national singles poll are Newman, Petrone and sophomore Vlad Stefan (Bucharest, Romania). Newman is ranked 31st in the initial ITA rankings, Petrone comes in at No. 51 and Stefan begins the year at No. 62. Three U-M doubles teams represent the Wolverines in the ITA's preseason doubles rankings, including U-M's top tandem of King and Bernstein, who enter the season at No. 3 in the country. The newly formed tandem of Newman and Stefan enter the season ranked No. 46, while the first-year doubles pairing of Newman and Petrone rank tied for No. 55 in the nation entering the 2012-13 campaign. [ Full ITA Rankings ]
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. 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 Petrone, the ITA Midwest Region Rookie of the Year, was an All-Big Ten second team selection.
Making His Debut -- Newman, one of the Wolverines' two newcomers this season, will make his debut in the Maize and Blue this weekend at the UVA Ranked +1. A transfer from the University of Florida, Newman compiled a 32-9 mark during his sophomore campaign with the Gators, including a 16-5 record in dual competition.
Coaching Staff -- Head coach Bruce Berque enters 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.
Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423