Baumann, Michalicka to defend Baylor Invite title

first_imgSenior Moritz Baumann and junior Marek Michalicka look to defend their doubles title and continue their impressive singles form from last season as the University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team heads down to Waco, Texas, for the annual Baylor Invitational this weekendThe tournament consists of over 110 players from 23 different schools, who will be separated into two 64-man draws as well as two 32-team doubles draws.The Badgers boast the No. 6 doubles team in the nation with Baumann and Michalicka, as well as their singles rankings of No. 19 and No. 37, respectively.The invitational will feature many other top-ranked players, including six in the top 50, and Oklahoma State’s Oleksandr Nedovyesov, the nation’s No. 1 ranked player.The level of talent at this tournament does not surprise UW head coach Greg Van Emburgh, but he believes his players — especially Baumann and Michalicka — deserve to be playing against the NCAA’s best.“They’re both great tennis players,” Van Emburgh said. “You know you hate to say this and put the pressure on them, but they’re probably the two best players in the country, singles and doubles.”“We’ve been playing [the Baylor Invitational] now for three or four years, and it just shows you the success of our program,” he added. “We’re able to send our good, top players down there, where they can compete at a high level in a tough, competitive situation. It really gives us an opportunity to really showcase our talent level.”Baumann, in particular, has had a lot of success at the Baylor Invitational throughout his career after finishing runner-up in the singles A draw two years ago and winning the doubles A draw last year.The competition will be tough as always, but he looks to continue his success in both draws.“Of course, I’m going to try to win it,” Baumann said. “I think I’m in good shape, but you never know. On a good day, you can win against anybody; on a bad day, you can lose against anybody, so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, I can win a couple of rounds there and get some confidence.”“A lot of different schools send their best players there,” he added. “There are always top 10, top 20 players in the nation. Every match is going to be tough.”Not only is he going to have to adjust to the competition but Baumann will also have to make adjustments to playing on hard courts after strictly playing on clay courts all summer in his home country of Germany.“It’s always a new experience when you come from clay courts in Germany, which are slower, and you come here and you have the hard courts again,” Baumann said. You’ve got to move differently, the ball bounces differently, it’s totally different. But I’ve practiced almost a month now here on the hard courts, and I have a good feeling.”That is not to say he doesn’t have any hesitations..“When you start a season, you’re always kind of nervous. You want to win the first match because it gives you confidence,” Baumann said.UW also is sending sophomore Patrick Pohlmann and senior Michael Dierberger, who will play in singles as well as pair up as another doubles team. Van Emburgh is excited about all of his players and hopes that this will be a growing experience for everyone and help them all get off to a good start to the fall season.“The four guys that we’re sending down there, they can do some great things. We’re still early in the season, so we want to look for a lot of good competition, get some matches, get some wins underneath our belt and try to have a good weekend of tennis.”Baumann echoed his coach’s confidence.“We won it last year, so we’re looking to defend it.”last_img

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