The record books were opened on Friday, and 15th-ranked senior Evan King etched his name right above Peter Pusztai as the Michigan men’s tennis team’s all-time wins leader with 181 combined wins (104 singles, 77 doubles) with his performance against Purdue.
“Considering Michigan’s rich tradition with so many great players that have been national champions and All-Americans and Grand Slam champions, Evan is proud of the record, and he should be,” said Michigan coach Bruce Berque.
The record-breaking win came alongside junior Shaun Bernstein in the doubles component of the dual-part match, as the 12th-ranked pair throttled its Boilermaker opponents, 8-2, to help the Wolverines jump out to an early lead on the road.
King quickly added to his record with a singles win later in the match, trouncing his opponent 6-2, 6-3. After notching two more victories against Indiana on Sunday, King’s record mark now stands at 184 combined wins (106 singles, 78 doubles).
For the Wolverines, it was important to play well on the road following a home loss to Minnesota last week. With two tough matchups in the state of Indiana this weekend, the task proved difficult at times. But thanks to several impact performances, on top of King’s dominance, the Wolverines returned home victorious, winning at Purdue, 5-2, and at Indiana, 4-3.
Junior co-captain Barrett Franks continued his hot play, winning 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 at Purdue and 6-3, 7-5 at Indiana to extend his singles winning streak to seven matches.
Junior Alex Buzzi also added multiple wins, storming back against his Boilermaker opponent on Friday, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, and holding off his Hoosier opponent on Sunday, 7-5, 6-2.
“Every match you win, you’ll gain some confidence and experience,” Buzzi said.
All of this excitement was nearly stifled, as Indiana was one serve away from defeating Michigan. Co-captain Shaun Bernstein was the last Wolverine standing and trailed in the final set, 1-5.
With his back against the wall, his teammates provided the emotional spark to energize the junior and fuel his comeback. Bernstein dominated the remainder of the match, winning 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, giving Michigan a hard-fought and emotional road win.
“I’m really pleased to come away with two wins, and I’m happy for the guys,” Berque said.
The Wolverines improved to 9-7 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten.
“I feel like we’re getting closer, and hopefully very soon we’ll be playing our very best,” Berque said.