The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  MEN'S TENNIS PROFILE In their first three years with the Michigan men's tennis team, seniors Alexi Buzzi and Barrett Franks each found some success playing doubles. In their sophomore sea- son, the two played No. 2 doubles together for most of the year and claimed the 2011 Big Ten Indoor title. At other times, they moved throughout the lineup, test- ing out other doubles part- ners. Last year, Buzzi paired with All-American Evan King at No. 1 doubles, finishing the year with an 18-16 record in doubles play. For the most part, though, nei- ther Buzzi nor Franks found standout success, either with each other or with separate partners. In their first three years, Franks posted a 44-53 mark while Puzzi com- piled a 35-37 record. "Throughout the years, we have paired them up with different guys here and there, but we always kept coming back to it," Michigan head coach Bruce Berque said. "It was just before the season when we tried it again. "In the fall, I didn't necessar- ily think they would be together. I knew that was always an option. We thought Alex might play with [se- nior] Shaun Bernstein, because those two alternated as partners with Evan King at No. 1 doubles last year. We thought they both had experience at No. 1 doubles, and both have pretty good double skills. Barrett was hurt a lot in the fall. He played one match with Alex in the fall, but it didn't re- ally work out, because with his injury, he wasn't able to compete that much." In January, Berque and his coach- ing staff began seriously considering what the pairs would be this season, especially at No. 1 doubles. Buzzi and Franks continued to come up as an option. So Berque threw them out there, to see what would happen. "We didn't know how they would handle playing No. 1, but we put it together, and our doubles have been pretty good every match," Berque said. "There is no reason to change it. They're proving they can be a No. 1 Alex Buzzi And Barrett Franks Excel In Doubles Competition Buzzi (right) and Franks (left) teamed up for a 6-1 record at No. 1 doubles en route to a No. 13 national ranking as of Feb. 14. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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