Michigan Tennis Update: Two Tough Losses

Submitted by BlueDragon on February 20th, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Since Michigan's 5-2 win over LSU on February 4th, the Wolverines have endured two tough losses. The February 11 road trip to Seattle ended poorly for #28 Michigan, who dropped the doubles point and all but one singles match en route to a dismal 6-1 loss at the hands of #26 Washington. Designated 1 court #6 Evan King lost in straight sets to #15 Kyle McMorrow, 6-3, 7-6. Only Barrett Franks on 5 court held on to win his singles match over Max Manthou, 7-6, 6-7, 1-0. As an added bonus, we got an awesome picture of Barrett courtesy of MGoBlue.com.


Look into those eyes. No pity lurks there.

The worst kind of loss is a rivalry loss, and Michigan's 4-3 loss to #30 Notre Dame at the Varsity Tennis Center February 18th was truly heart-rending. The match came down to 3 court featuring freshman Alex Petrone of Michigan versus Sam Keeton of Notre Dame. The match ended 3-6, 6-5, 7-6 in favor of Mr. Keeton, who dominated the third-set tiebreaker with five straight points en route to the win.

However, some positives came from the match as well. Michigan doubles again dominated, winning all three of their matches. Alex Buzzi had a nice win on 6 court, winning 7-5, 7-5. Evan King dropped the first set but ended strong, winning 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. It is unfortunate that Petrone did not come through in the clutch for Michigan, but he is only a freshman. Petrone and Zhu have nowhere to go but up, and the whole team is still young. Thank goodness we have another year with Evan King! He's so fun to watch play. In fact MGoBlue has some fairly detailed video coverage of the M-ND match available for free, if you are interested.

Link:  http://www.mgoblue.com/allaccess/?media=303577



February 20th, 2012 at 10:22 PM ^

I was at the Washington match and here is what I saw.

McMorrow and King were fairly evenly matched and they were trading good blows. The difference maker was McMorrow's serve. He definitely has a harder serve and got much more easy points off his serves than King did which made holding serves a lot easier for McMorrow. King had to work pretty hard for his games.

The common problem I saw with almost all Michigan players was the first serve percentage. I think most guys were hitting well below 50% of their first serves win. When your first serve percentage is that low, you are working pretty hard to hold your serves and just one or two bad rally will mean you get broken.

Another thing I noticed was how every Michigan player was just blocking the serves back to the middle. It must be something that the coaches emphasize because I saw every guy doing this in all matches. I think they need to put a bit more pressure on the returns. Even the second serves that did not look that strong were just getting blocked back.

It was pretty much a big letdown for me. But it is always good to see UM out here in Seattle.


John W.

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:03 PM ^

The UW loss was a wipeout. Very disappointed to see UM get hammered by a solid UW team although they fought harder against Notre Dame. Here are my thoughts on UM Mens tennis.

Bernstein is foot slow and UM is missing a #2 player. You drop everyone down the ladder and this would be a solid team. It is tough to win with frosh at #3/4 although they both are good singles players. I like Bernstein but he is a big guy but not necessarily a big enough serve to offset his foot speed. His slice is below average so players can play him to one side and exploit his foot speed.

It is tough playing the #2 spot. Its not that Bernstein isn't a quality player but at that spot if your quickness is a weak point you will be exploited.


The womens tennis team has a much higher ceiling this year and next. Bektas can play with anyone especially if her serve is clicking. Bolender is a solid #2 so UM is not giving anything away at that spot in 99% of the matches. With Critser coming back and Nguyen that gives UM a solid lineup and then throw in Sarah Lee and this team should get to the sweet 16.

The mens' program needs a 1A guy. Easier said than done.


John W.


P.S. By the way I went to the same school at McMorrow. I like to think I blazed the trail for McMorrow :).