If you see Michigan men’s tennis player Brian Hung walking
down the street or in a classroom, you won’t hear him
boasting or bragging about recent results. But when you watch this
quiet, humble and down-to-earth sophomore on the courts, you may
want to plug your ears. Hung has brought new life to the Wolverines
this fall, and has let his game do the talking. And, unlike
Hung’s personality, his game is not shy.

Only a week ago, Hung waltzed his way through five straight
opponents, making the finals of the ITA Regional held in Ann Arbor.
In the process, he dismissed top-seeded Jakub Praibis of Indiana
6-4, 6-0 — a win that gave him confidence going into
today’s ITA National Indoor Championships.

“The tournament last week certainly gave me a big
boost,” Hung said. “Knowing I can compete with some of
the nation’s best has made me a more confident
player.”

Although he fell short in the finals against No. 2 ranked Ryler
DeHeart, Hung, who was seeded 12th, exceeded all expectations most
had for him going into the tournament. But don’t expect him
to get complacent.

“There’s still a big area for me to improve,
especially playing against bigger and stronger players,” Hung
said. “I’m getting better and better as the season
progresses, but every stroke of mine still needs
improvement.”

The dual season isn’t until the spring, so Hung treats
these individual tournaments as the preseason.

“I don’t set any individual goals for myself before
the year except just to improve,” Hung said. “Our team
didn’t make the NCAA Tournament last year, though, so
anything I can do to help us make it this year will be my
goal.”

Within Michigan’s squad he is a part of another team
— the Wolverines’ No. 1 doubles team. Along with fellow
sophomore Ryan Heller, Hung will compete in the doubles draw of the
tournament. Pulling double duty could be an unenviable task for
certain players who just want to emphasize singles play, but Hung
welcomes the opportunity with open arms.

“Playing doubles is fun — I love it,” Hung
said. “It allows me to work on my volleying at the net and
become a better player.”

Under the tutelage of first year Michigan coach Bruce Berque,
Hung’s game has evolved from a strategy that primarily
focused on playing from the baseline, to an all-court game that
includes playing more at the net.

Hung led the Wolverines last season with 22 wins, and with a new
philosophy on the court and another year of experience, who knows
how much better he could be.

Hung begins his next challenge today at the ITA National
Intercollegiate Indoor Championships held in Ann Arbor. As hosts,
the Wolverines receive an automatic entry into each draw. Because
Hung earned an automatic bid from regional competition, senior
Michael Rubin will also participate in the singles draw.

 

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