After Michigan senior Anthony Jackson ripped an overhead winner
to tie the deciding doubles match against Notre Dame at 8-8, he
crouched, flexed and let out a scream to the Varsity Tennis Center
It was perfect timing for the shot. Riding on Jackson’s
emotion, Michigan went on to win the doubles point.
But Jackson never would have expected he would be shouting in
pain later during his singles match at the worst possible time.
With the overall contest tied 2-2, and Jackson serving for the
match in the third set, the Wolverine went for it all.
“I thought I had the match, pretty much, and I thought I
could serve it out,” Jackson said. “On match point, I
went for a huge serve, and my leg cramped up.”
Luis Haddock, Jackson’s opponent, knew Jackson’s
legs were hurting and ran the senior back and forth on the
The pain was too much.
Haddock fought through another match point, and took the match
6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
No. 35 Notre Dame (11-7) took four of the five three-set singles
matches to defeat No. 48 Michigan (8-2), 5-2.
“I told the guys that I would never be upset if they lay
it on the line and go out there and give it everything they
got,” coach Mark Mees said. “I’ll never ever be
upset with a loss.”
The contest was much closer than the final score.
“All of these matches could have gone either way,”
Notre Dame coach Bob Bayliss said. “(Michigan is) going to
win some matches this year.”
After the Wolverines took the doubles point, Notre Dame’s
Brent D’Amico pulled off an improbable win at No. 3 singles
over previously unbeaten freshman Ryan Heller.
With the match tied 1-1, Notre Dame’s Matthew Scott fought
off first set jitters and defeated Michigan’s Brian Hung at
No. 2 singles, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Wolverines tied the match 2-2 when David Anving outlasted
Barry King at No. 5 singles, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Michigan’s usual No. 1 singles player, junior Michael
Rubin, did not play because of an aggravated shoulder.
Rubin’s injury forced Mees to move each Wolverine up one slot
in the lineup.
Jackson was forced to play the No. 1 singles position for just
the second time this season. Despite his loss, the senior did not
disappoint the crowd.
“I try to have fun out there — I will pump the
fist,” Jackson said. “I will try to stay relaxed, but I
enjoy screaming to the crowd.”
After Jackson hit a down-the-line passing shot to set up his
first match point against Haddock, he went to fetch a ball in the
corner of the court. Hearing the cheers from the crowd, Jackson
glanced up at his ecstatic teammates, and joked, “This is
what they paid for, this is what they want.”
Tennis legend Jimmy Connors said the same thing after he won a
huge point during a U.S. Open tournament in the early 1990s.
While Connors won his match, Jackson failed to grab the
‘W’ yesterday. But Mees was proud of Jackson and his
“I think that it was a heck of an effort by both
teams,” Mees said. “I couldn’t have been more
proud of the way our team fought.”