ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's tennis head coach Bruce Berque announced Tuesday (Nov. 17) the signing of two of the top junior players in the nation -- Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) -- to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.
Bernstein is ranked No. 19 by tennisrecruiting.net and attends Plainview Old Bethpage JFK H.S. in Plainview, N.Y. As a freshman, Bernstein reached the quarterfinals of the International Spring Championships in the Boys 16-and-Under age group and was ranked as high as No. 16 nationally by the USTA (No. 1 in Eastern section). He also represented the U.S. in the Boys 14-and-Under Junior Davis Cup in the Czech Republic. Two years later as a junior, Bernstein won five matches at the Boys 18-and-Under National Hardcourt Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., scoring a win over a top-10 opponent. He also reached the semifinals of the International Hardcourt Championships in New Jersey last summer. Earlier this year, Bernstein reached the doubles final of the grade one ITF Kentucky Derby. He was unseeded at the Coffee Bowl (Copa Cafe -- Costa Rica Junior ITF Tournament), but managed to reach the U-18 singles semifinal and was the last player from the U.S. standing.
"We are thrilled that Sean is coming to Michigan," Berque said. "He has been one of the best players in the country at every age group and has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most passionate and hard-working players out there. We are excited about the contribution that Sean will make to our program."
Rossi is ranked No. 16 by tennisrecruiting.net, hailing from nearby Novi, Mich., and he takes online classes with Laurel Springs Prep. As a freshman, Rossi finished the year ranked No. 16 in the nation for the Boys' 14-and-Under age group and won the Midwest championship in 2006 as the section's top-ranked player. Rossi finished third in the Boys 16-and-Under National Open in 2007 and reached the fourth round of the Boys 16-and-Under National Hardcourt Championships in Kalamazoo as a sophomore. Last year, he won the Columbus Indoor Boys 18-and-Under Championship and finished third in the February National Open. He was ranked as high as No. 14 nationally for the Boys 16-and-Under age group.
"We have no doubt that Justin will make an immediate impact on our team," Berque said. "He's arguably the best player in the Midwest and we are very happy that he is staying close to home. Justin is extremely driven and has high goals for his tennis. With his ability and skill set, we are confident he can reach those goals here at Michigan."
Michigan will lose seniors George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) and Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) to graduation at the end of the season.
N O T E S
• Both Bernstein and Rossi are rated as blue-chip recruits by tennisrecruiting.net.
• Navas, Sroczynski, juniors Jason Jung and Chris Madden and freshman Evan King were all rated as blue-chip recruits by the service.
• Berque has brought in three top-five recruiting classes in the last four years (2006 - No. 5; 2007 - No. 4; 2009 - No. 5).
• Aside from Michigan, Duke, UCLA and Georgia are the only other schools to bring in two blue-chip recruits for next season as part of a recruiting class.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 764-4423