Gophers Gear Up for Final Home Weekend
April 11, 2014
The Minnesota men's tennis team will wrap up its home schedule this weekend at the Baseline Tennis Center when it plays host to No. 50 Michigan at 6 p.m. Friday and Michigan State Sunday at noon. Sunday's match will be Senior Day and the team's lone senior, Juan Pablo Ramirez, will be honored between singles play and doubles play.
No. 55 Minnesota dipped below .500 last weekend after losing at home to two highly-ranked Big Ten foes. The Gophers, missing regular starter Jack Hamburg, put up a valiant effort against No. 1 Ohio State before falling, 5-2, and dropped a 4-1 decision to then-No. 24 Penn State Sunday. Despite the team losses, Leandro Toledo shined in singles, defeating No. 8 Peter Kobelt and No. 50 Leonard Stakhovsky to move from No. 66 to No. 41 in the singles rankings and earn his second Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week Award.
Little Brown Jug rival Michigan enters the weekend in a similar position to Minnesota, ranked five spot ahead in the national rankings at No. 50 and tied for five with the Gophers and two other teams in the Big Ten with a 3-4 conference mark. No. 96-ranked Alex Petrone is the team’s top singles player at 10-10, while Barrett Franks and Alex Buzzi, 6-9 on the year, are No. 25 in doubles.
About Michigan State
Michigan, which travels to Wisconsin Friday, will play its final road match of the season Sunday against the Gophers. The Spartans, 8-12 overall, are still seeking their first win away from home as they are 0-10 on the road. MSU is 2-5 in the conference. Drew Lied is the team's primary No. 1 singles player. He is 7-9 at the top spot and 11-13 overall. He plays No. 1 doubles with John Patrick Mullane. That duo is 9-10 together.
Against This Weekend's Opponents
Michigan holds a 49-28 advantage in the all-time series. The teams split two matches last season, ending with a 4-3 Wolverine win at the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers, who were 2-0 against MSU last year, including a conference tournament win, are 45-14 all-time against the Spartans.
Tough at the Top
The Gophers lineup has been especially strong in the top four spots this season. At positions Nos. 1-4, Minnesota has posted a 44-25 record. Leandro Toledo, the 41st-ranked singles player in the nation, is 15-4 at No. 1 and fellow German Ruben Weber is 9-7 at No. 2. At No. 3, Jack Hamburg has a amassed a 9-6 ledger, while his doubles partner, Mathieu Froment has gone 8-6 at No. 4 and 2-0 at No. 3.
Hamburg and Froment Still Rolling
Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment have been a force to be reckoned with at No. 1 doubles this season. The duo lost its first completed match of the season, but has won 11-straight since to earn an 11-1 record and reach the No. 19 spot in the national rankings.
The experimental scoring format using to begin the college tennis season has reverted back to the old system as of Feb. 10 for the women. From this point forward, there will be three doubles matches using eight-game pro-sets and the team winning at least two of the matches gets one team point. If the pro-set is tied 7-7, a seven-point tiebreaker is played. If one team wins two doubles matches, the third match will go unfinished.
Six singles matches are then played and each are worth one team point. The matches are best-of-three sets with tiebreakers played to seven points if the set is tied 6-6. Once a team has reached four team points, it has clinched the team victory. The remaining matches are completed with a 10-point match tiebreaker played in place of a third set.