Nov. 6, 2013
Nov. 6, 2013
MADISON, Wis.- The Wisconsin men’s tennis team had its share of victories as well as losses during the fall season. With appearance in three fall tournaments, The Milwaukee Tennis Classic, the ITA Midwest Regionals and the Big Ten Singles Championships, the Badgers tallied an overall record of 27-27 in singles and 18-7 in doubles.
Head Coach Greg Van Emburgh felt that his young roster made strides in the right direction during the fall season.
“I think that going into every fall season you want to try to definitely improve and get in a lot of match play, and to continue to develop your student athletes. I think we’re in the process of doing that.”
The Badgers had an impressive showing in the first tournament of the fall at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, Sept. 13-15, finishing with an overall record of 21-6.
Senior Petr Satral completed the tournament undefeated in both singles and doubles play. Van Emburgh commented on the team captain’s importance as a leader.
“Petr has been a great team leader and a great team captain, and I think that he has really shared a lot of his experience and knowledge with the younger guys. We look forward to him continuing to do so in the spring season.”
Satral teamed up with sophomore Alexander Kokorev in UW’s second tournament of the fall, the ITA Midwest Regionals Oct. 17-20 to earn the Badger’s deepest run. The duo reached the third round of the doubles draw before bowing out.
After returning from a wrist injury, sophomore Oskar Wikberg came back with an impressive performance at the final tournament of the fall season, The Big Ten Singles Championships, Oct. 25-27. Wikberg advanced to the semifinals in the singles bracket, earning three wins. Van Emburgh emphasized Wikberg’s importance to the roster.
“Oskar has been a great team player. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s a co-team captain with Petr (Satral). He was injured early on in the season and now he’s just in the recovery process. I would say he’s at about 95% of his ability and I think the great thing about him is that he’s the one that’s going to go the extra mile and work hard at practice to make sure that he’s ready for the spring season.”
Freshman John Zordani also had a strong showing at the Big Ten Singles Championships, advancing to the quarterfinals in the singles consolation bracket.
“John has done a great job and he is another one of the guys on the team, being a freshman, who’s always trying to get better and always trying to improve,” Van Emburgh said. “He pushes himself every day whether it’s on the tennis court or in the gym or even in the classroom for that matter. We’re looking for him to really step up and find his role with both singles and doubles during the spring season.”
The Badgers will resume play with the start of the regular season on Jan. 25th in Los Angeles, Calif. as they take on UCLA in their first action of 2014.
“We’re hoping that with the addition of a player or two in January to really solidify our team roster,” Van Emburgh added. “We’re going into UCLA playing the finalists at the NCAAs last year, so obviously you want to be able to go in and be loose and be optimistic. There’s another match, win or lose there. We’re not really worried about that, we’re trying to take it one day at a time and try to continue the improvement and development.”
Wisconsin will host 14 home meets during the regular season at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Van Emburgh commented on the benefits of playing at home.
“I think we are fortunate to have a lot of home matches at Nielsen again like last year. I think it gives our guys the chance to play great tennis. They’re comfortable in there, they’re used to it. I think other teams sometimes might not be as used to it, coming in with a day of practice. I feel that our center with the upgrades of the lights, the new scoreboards and the courts is becoming more of a neutral setting for both teams.”