Regionals await UW tennis team

first_imgBaumann reached the semifinals in the ITA All-American Championship.[/media-credit]Although neither is American-born, success isn’t foreign to Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka. Baumann, who was born in Germany, and Michalicka, who calls the Czech Republic home, are coming off an impressive showing in the doubles draw of last week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championship, where they reached the semifinals.They are hoping to carry their momentum into this week’s ITA Regional Championships. Both players had success in the 2008 Regional Championships — Baumann reached the quarterfinals and Michalicka reached the semifinals in the singles draw.“We’re coming off a great result last week in the All-American Championships; we were the first team in Wisconsin history to make the semifinals in that tournament,” Michalicka said. “I hope we carry our success into this week’s tournament in both singles and doubles.”In the All-American Championship, Baumann and Michalicka performed well before facing the Tennessee Volunteers squad that eventually won the tournament. Despite their inability to return home with a tournament victory, Van Emburgh was still pleased with his team’s showing.“It shows their potential and the high level that they can play at,” Van Emburgh said. “They played solid tennis this weekend, but they ran into a talented, confident Tennessee Volunteer team who ended up taking both the singles and doubles titles.”“Although they could have won the match, we’re happy about making some strides,” he continued. “They both made the second round of the singles draw, and Marek was even up a set and a break on a player who is ranked top five in the nation.”Tournament seedings haven’t been released, but Baumann and Michalicka are both poised to be highly ranked. At the All-American Championships, Baumann and Michalicka were seeded No. 3 in a very competitive field. Even with their strong result last week, neither player is resting on their laurels when it comes to the upcoming tournament.“We’re going into the tournament to win it,” Baumann said. “This is always our goal in both singles and doubles. We’ll see what happens — there will be a lot of good players there.”The University of Michigan is hosting the Midwest Regional, and it is the first year in which the ITA’s new realignment plan will be implemented. In previous years, there were eight separate regions, but this year the number is increasing to 12. The ITA Committee decided to make this choice in response to the economic downturn, as this will allow teams to not travel as far and supplement the participation of more student-athletes. Wisconsin’s region is stacked with tennis powerhouses, such as Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois and Notre Dame.“It seems most of the teams in our region are competitive, and I think we’ve got one of the tougher matchups in the nation,” Van Emburgh said. “There are top players and that’s what we want, our players to go up against the best competition.”The Badgers qualified seven out of eight players into the main draw of the tournament, proving teams shouldn’t be fearing only the top of their lineup. Varun Chari is on the list of alternates and has the possibility to qualify for the tournament in the preliminary rounds. Freshman Chris Freeman is also hoping to continue his hot streak as he finished second in the Wildcat Invite two weeks ago at Northwestern.“We’ve put a lot of work in the fall, whether it’s on the court or off the court. I think the guy’s are excited to get there, play some good tennis and hopefully get some wins,” Van Emburgh said. “If you look at the guys that are going, they all have something to prove, and that’s the attitude we’re looking for.”“We’re having a great fall,” he continued. “We’re really excited going into the Regionals.”last_img

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