BY ALEX STEINHOFF
Daily Sports Writer
Published February 13, 2011
Senior Chris Madden, former two-time Michigan MVP, made his first appearance in the Michigan men's tennis season on Friday night. Madden, who had been sidelined due to a wrist injury, played No. 2 doubles with freshman Justin Rossi against Washington, losing 8-5. He played in the same position against Vanderbilt Sunday, losing again 8-4.
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“It felt really good to be back out there,” Madden said. “I think we played really well. We did not play a perfect match by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt pretty good out there.”
After only hitting for a week, Michigan coach Bruce Berque put Madden into the doubles lineup to ease him back into match play.
Even though Madden and Rossi didn’t show up on the score sheet, Madden’s return to the court will surely provide the team with some energy. Madden came onto the court with the same competitive spirit he had before the injury. At one point, Madden drop-kicked his hat, displaying his frustration after losing another game to the Huskies. Later in the match, Madden took his racquet to the wall in another bout of frustration.
Despite his disappointment from losing both matches, Madden knows that this comeback won’t happen overnight. He's looking to ease his way back into the lineup, and hoping to make his first singles appearance next Saturday against Notre Dame.
HEAD COACH NOTCHES HUNDRETH: As the Wolverines beat Washington 4-3 on Friday, Berque picked up his 100th career dual-match victory for Michigan. The No. 22 Wolverines took down the No. 23 Huskies in the second match of a three game home-stand that concluded Sunday against Vanderbilt.
Despite losing the doubles point and falling into a 3-2 hole, No. 4 singles Shaun Bernstein and No. 6 singles Chris Cha rallied to win both of their matches in three sets 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, and 7-6 (4), 6-7 (9), 6-2, respectively, completing the comeback and giving Berque his historic win.
“It’s a nice milestone to hear about, but what felt most special on that night was how proud I was of our team and the way they came through with a big win,” Berque said.
Berque, in his seventh season with the Wolverines, won’t dwell on this victory long. After the loss to Vanderbilt, he talked about how important this match victory was for his young team, who finished a stretch of playing ranked opponent after ranked opponent.
“Honestly I haven’t thought too much about it,” Berque said. “It’s nice to hear some positive remarks, but I think if you’re coaching somewhere long enough those wins should come, or you probably won’t be there very long.”
TENNIS ON TV: On Sunday, the Big Ten Network made a trip to Ann Arbor’s Varsity Tennis Center for a men’s and women’s double-header against Vanderbilt. As fans walked into the facility on Sunday, they were greeted by an unfamiliar sight. The viewing area was littered with wires and cords, areas in the stands were blocked off for camera crews and announcers drifted to different courts to broadcast the match.
Despite the small inconveniences for the fans, the players and coaches enjoyed it.
“It was definitely pretty cool. It’s my first experience (on TV), but I didn’t think too much about and kept my focus," Michigan senior Jason Jung said. "I think everyone was pretty hyped up about it though."
Attendance was close to the facility’s record according to Berque. And the telecast won't be seen on the Big Ten Network until Feb. 27.
Though knowing the result of the men’s match may lead some fans and players to not watch the tape-delayed coverage, being televised was a special experience for the Wolverines.
“It’s something new and college tennis doesn’t get much of it,” Jung said. “I’d watch my match.”