By Steven Braid, Sports Writer
Published April 17, 2011
During a weekend which he was honored along with his fellow senior teammates, it was only fitting that Jason Jung continued his exceptional singles play for the Michigan men’s tennis team.
“It’s nice to see him play like this, and to see him have the kind of success he’s having this year,” Michigan coach Bruce Berque said. “He’s done so much for the program in terms of being a great ambassador for the program, and for all the recognition he’s brought us, and the wins he’s brought us, and the leadership he’s brought us. So its nice to see him play well.”
After Michigan failed to capitalize on the opportunity to win the doubles point against No. 17 Illinois, Jung sought to help the Wolverines get back on track in the singles matches.
Jung demonstrated his value to Michigan in his match against Roy Kalmanovich, playing No. 2 singles.
With an impressive display of groundstrokes, Jung moved the slower-footed Kalmanovich all over the court to jump out to a quick 3-1 lead in the first set.
The two battled from the baseline for the remainder of the set, which seemed to benefit Jung, as his superior footwork and consistency allowed him to take advantage of Kalmanovich’s unsteady baseline game. After breaking Kalmanovich’s service game, Jung closed out the first set, 6-3, with an array of strong first serves.
But Jung found himself in a hole at the start of the second set, as Kalmanovich came out firing, falling behind 3-1. Momentum shifted in the next game, though.
With a chance to break Kalmanovich’s service game, Jung hit a forehand appeared long. Kalmanovich thought so as well, as he called the ball out. The official thought otherwise, though, and overruled the call — giving Jung the game and a sense of control.
Kalmanovich lost his composure. Visibly upset, he smacked a couple unforced errors long in the next game, enabling Jung to take control of the game and the match. With the momentum, Jung wheeled off four consecutive games to win the match, 6-3, 6-3.
“I think building off of last week, (my game plan) was to stay solid from the back and to try not to miss too much on my own,” Jung said. “I tried to use the speed I have, because most (players) get frustrated when balls keep coming back.”
Jung continued his stellar play against Iowa's Will Vasos.
Displaying a different assortment of weapons, Jung took the first set, 6-3, with a powerful serve and a deft net game.
Struggling to keep up with Jung’s baseline game, Vasos committed multiple unforced errors, and fell behind early in the second set. With the end in sight, Jung used impressive footwork and an array of winners to win the match, 6-3, 6-2.
“This was one of those days, and yesterday too, where its kind of fun to watch him,” Berque said. “Because when he’s winning fairly comfortably, he’s using all the skills that he has. “(He’s) got great quickness and speed, he’s got the ability to play defense and to hit the slice, and he can come into the net and attack.”
With a career high 24 wins this season in singles play, Jung knows he’s come a long way from his underclassmen years.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Jung said. “It’s been a great four years and I’m definitely going to miss it. But at the same time I think its time to leave. Hopefully I did something well here.”