Wolverines Set for Pair of Home Matches
Friday, Feb. 1 -- vs. Princeton (Varsity Tennis Center), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 3 -- vs. No. 49 Wake Forest (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.
Match Coverage: Free Admission | Live Scoring
The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (2-1) returns to the Varsity Tennis Center this weekend to square off against a pair of non-conference opponents. The Wolverines will face Princeton (0-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 1) before wrapping up their weekend slate with an 11 a.m. dual against No. 49 Wake Forest (6-0) on Sunday (Feb. 3).
Win Two Michigan vs. Michigan State Men's Basketball Tickets
All fans in attendance at Sunday's 11 a.m. match vs. No. 49 Wake Forest at the Varsity Tennis Center will automatically be entered into a drawing to win two free tickets to the the men's basketball game between No. 1 Michigan and in-state rival Michigan State. Be sure to arrive on time, as the drawing will take place at the conclusion of doubles action.
Each of this weekend's dual matches 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.
Scouting the Opponents
Princeton -- The Tigers open their 2013 dual-match season with three matches this week in Michigan. Princeton squares off with Western Michigan on Thursday night (Jan. 31) before taking on the Wolverines on Friday evening at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Tigers close out their three-match road trip with a Sunday tilt against Michigan State (Feb. 3) in East Lansing. Princeton is paced by senior Matija Pecotic, who holds at No. 2 national ranking in the latest International Tennis Association poll. Pecotic posted a 26-2 record in the fall, including a 13-1 mark against ranked competition. The Tigers lead the all-time series against Michigan, 2-1, but the Wolverines posted a 5-4 win when the programs last met in 1976.
Wake Forest -- The No. 49-ranked Demon Deacons are off to their first 6-0 start since 2005 after notching wins over Penn State and New Mexico last weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C. Amogh Prabhakar is ranked No. 59 from Wake Forest's third singles position, while Danny Kreyman carries a No. 90 ranking from the second singles spot. The team's top doubles tandem of Prabhakar and David Hopkins are a perfect 6-0 in dual match play. U-M leads 5-3 in the all-time series against the Demon Deacons, most recently earning a 4-3 road victory last season.
Last Time Out
Michigan split its matches at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Jan. 25-26), falling to No. 14 California, 4-3, in the championship match after beginning the event with a 4-0 shutout victory over No. 35 Maryland. Senior Evan King won both matches from the No. 1 singles position.
King of the Court -- Senior Evan King picked up his 60th career dual win with his 6-3, 7-5 decision against 66th-ranked Ben McLachlan of California last Saturday (Jan. 26). King is 6-0 in the month of January and 9-3 overall this season. He has faced ranked opponents in seven of those 12 matches. On Jan. 9, King secured his seventh career Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Week accolade after winning the individual title at the Key Biscayne Individuals Jan. 6-8.
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.
Where We Rank -- Michigan remained at the No. 20 position in the latest ITA national rankings, released last Tuesday (Jan. 22). Junior 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 ]
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 68-21 (.764) since the 2005 season and is 128-41 (.757) overall at the complex.
Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Bruce Berque is in his ninth year at the helm of the Wolverine program, compiling a 129-82 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.
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Sunday, Feb. 10 -- at Duke (Durham, N.C.), Noon
Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423