Sometimes in tennis, two good singles players make incompatible doubles teammates.
Other times, two good singles players find chemistry to create a strong doubles team.
Michigan freshman Jason Jung and sophomore Mike Sroczynski were all over the courts at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships in Minneapolis, going deep into both the singles and doubles draws.
Playing doubles together for the first time, Jung and Sroczynski’s court styles appear to complement each other.
The duo first defeated Iowa’s Christian Bierich and Tommy McGeorge 8-6 in a pro-set. It also rolled through the second and third rounds, beating Notre Dame’s Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens 8-3 and Northern Illinois’ Adam Ford and Brian Livingston 8-5.
Jung and Srocynski’s victory over Ohio State’s team of Koniecko and Moneke 8-4 put Michigan in the semifinals of the doubles draw.
The semifinal match between Jung-Sroczynski and Wisconsin’s Rassow-Kantor and Sonkin team will take place this morning. The doubles final will follow.
“Playing as a pair for the first time and getting to the semifinals (for now) is a great accomplishment for them,” Michigan coach Berque said.
For the first two days of tournament action, Jung and Sroczynski were undefeated in singles action as well as doubles play.
After early-round wins over DePaul’s Austin Doerner and Northern Illinois’ Alex Friesen, Jung met his match in the tournament’s second-seeded Bryan Koniecko of Ohio State. Koniecko won the first set handily, 6-1, and barely outlasted a determined Jung 7-3 in a second-set tiebreak.
“Jason bounced back in the second set,” Berque said. “His opponent was just a little more consistent than Jason was. Jason needs to learn to be more consistently aggressive.”
Jung’s performance in the tournament shows potential for a successful freshman campaign. He earned his first collegiate victories in singles play, and played strongly in doubles as well.
Sroczynski, who was lower in the lineup last year, made his season singles debut, also reaching the round of 16. He beat Ohio State’s Balazs Novak and DePaul’s Jose Moncada in early rounds. His round of 16 match was against third-seeded Ryan Rowe of Illinois. Rowe pulled out the victory in a tight match, 7-6(4) 6-4.
“They both played very good players,” Berque said. “They both played against guys who are ranked in the top 10 in the country.”
Overall, the tournament was full of smiles and decisive victories for the Wolverines from qualifying matches to doubles play.
Junior Scott Bruckmann, sophomore Matt Parks and freshman Chris Madden all won opening-round matches in the singles qualifying draw Thursday and Friday.
Of the three, Bruckmann was the lone player to make it into the main singles draw. Although Northern Illinois’ Alex Friesen beat him 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, Bruckmann moved on to the main draw as a lucky loser.
“The guys played a lot of matches, and that’s exactly what we wanted them to get out of the weekend,” Berque said.