He’s not the biggest guy on the tennis court, but Michigan freshman Jason Jung sure had a large presence there two weekends ago.
The 5-foot-10 Torrance, Calif., native played big, winning seven total matches between singles and doubles play at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships at the University of Minnesota.
Jung paired up with sophomore teammate Mike Sroczynski to win five straight doubles matches and reach the tournament final.
Jung and Sroczynski lost to the No. 7 Ohio State duo of Drew Eberly Justin Kronauge 8-5 in the championship.
But the weekend was a breakthrough tournament for Jung. He found a compatible doubles partner in Sroczynski. And more significantly, he went deep into the tournament in both singles and doubles against some of the best competition in the nation.
Jung also earned his first collegiate singles victory in his first-round win over DePaul’s Austin Doerner 6-3, 7-6(6). Jung followed it up with a convincing win over Northern Illinois’ Alex Friesen 6-3, 6-4.
In the round of 16, Jung lost to No. 6 Ohio State’s Bryan Koniecko. Koniecko won the first set quickly, 6-1, but Jung bounced back in the second set.
After a back-and-forth battle forced a tiebreaker, Koniecko squeaked out the win with a 7-3 advantage. Jung never gave up, a quality which impressed his coach.
“Jason is playing a lot better now than he was a few weeks ago,” Michigan coach Bruce Berque said.
Three weeks ago, Jung played singles in the All-American Championships in Oklahoma but was knocked out in the first round. He’s worked hard to prepare himself for tougher opponents.
“The level of competition in college is definitely higher,” Jung said. “It’s a big step up from Juniors. Most of the guys playing are a lot bigger and stronger, so you have to compensate for that.”
Jung plans to get stronger and put on some weight over the course of the season to add even more power to his strokes.
With a long, promising season ahead, Jung has set high goals for himself.
The freshman is currently ranked No. 124 in the nation.
“I want to earn a high individual ranking, maybe in the top 20 or higher,” Jung said.
Improving each week, Jung looks to have an impressive first year.