Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Streak on line vs. Big 10 foes

Moritz Baumann will try extend his 18-game winning streak this weekend in two Big Ten road matches.[/media-credit]
The University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team looks to extend its winning streak as they go on the road to take on two conference opponents this weekend. The No. 24 Badgers will try to extend their three-game winning streak against No. 58 Northwestern on Saturday and a 6-10 Purdue squad on Sunday.

Junior Moritz Baumann looks to extend his own winning streak as he remains undefeated in singles play this season, improving his record to 18-0 and his national singles ranking to No. 31 this past week.

Baumann has also excelled in doubles play alongside No. 47 Marek Michalicka. They are currently No. 15 in doubles play since defeating the then-No. 1 doubles team at Wake Forest earlier in the season and winning all but one match together this spring.


Head coach Greg Van Emburgh praised his prize duo.

“The two of those guys are just great tennis players,” Van Emburgh said. “They’re talented players, and they really enjoy playing well with each other. They communicate, they’re really good friends and obviously they can hit the ball in the court a lot of the time.”

The doubles team of Baumann and Michalicka, like any good doubles team, is based on a strong relationship between the two players and getting comfortable with your partner, Baumann said.

“We improved a lot from the fall. We worked a lot on our game,” Baumann said. “We have fun on the court, which is really important. We have a lot of confidence, and we always have fun — that makes it even easier.”

Van Emburgh knew the two would be a great team, so he put them together from the start. The pair soon found their rhythm and learned to play off one another.

“Early on we paired them up and we worked on the doubles with them together, and they really gelled nicely, so we’ve been keeping them together all of this year,” Van Emburgh said.

Van Emburgh understands their success has put a target on the Badgers’ backs.

“We’re 24 in the rankings right now,” he said. “From here on out, most of the teams that we play are going to be ranked below us, so everybody’s going to be looking to take a shot at us. We need to make sure we’re ready for that, expect that, and we’re up to the challenge.”

Northwestern and Purdue are both coming off tough losses and will square up against each other today before facing Wisconsin. Neither squad has anyone ranked as high as Baumann or Michalicka, but the team is focused on taking each match one at a time and with as much energy as their toughest matches. The Badgers have had a lot of success lately, but they have learned the hard way that overconfidence in themselves and underestimation of their opponents ends in losses.

“In the Big Ten, even if they have a worse record than us, we can’t underestimate them,” Baumann said. “We saw that in Indiana. I think we underestimated them a little bit and we came home with a loss, so there’s no way we can underestimate [Northwestern and Purdue], especially on the road.”

The loss to Indiana seemed to have been a wake-up call and hopefully will inspire the team to concentrate on the upcoming match.

“I think it’s important for us to be ready and focused for Northwestern Saturday,” Van Emburgh said. “They’re going to be a tough team. They’re a team that’s really solid through their lineup, and we need to make sure we have our A-game ready to go.”

The Badgers, riding their winning streak, are focused on staying grounded but are also aware they need to take advantage of the form they’re in.

“I think the team overall should be really confident,” Van Emburgh said. “Going into the teams that we’ve beaten, it shows you the potential of our team, but we just got to make sure we’re mentally ready to go on any given day.”

Baumann also is happy with his personal and team’s performances at the moment.

“Well, of course, we have a lot of confidence now,” he said. “I think everybody’s feeling comfortable on the court. We hope we can put that on the court Saturday and Sunday.”

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