Few teams understand that better than the Gophers women’s tennis team.
No. 30 Minnesota won its sixth-straight match Sunday, defeating No. 60 Wisconsin 5-2 in Madison, Wis., in its conference opener.
The Gophers had losing streaks of four and eight matches during their 2011 campaign, which they finished with an 8-16 record. They have already won nine matches to start 2012, with their lone loss Feb. 5 at home to then-No. 28 Washington.
The women won their ninth consecutive match to surpass last year’s win total.
Phillip Arndt was the only men’s player to lose to the Badgers.
For several Gophers tennis players hopeful of making this year’s U.S. Open, the first leg of the journey starts at home.
The University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center will host the U.S. Open National Playoff Northern Sectional Tournament this Thursday through Sunday.
The tournament is part of the U.S. Open National Playoffs, which is comprised of 16 tournaments that allow eligible players ages 14 and older to attempt to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Open, held in August.
Several players with Gophers ties are taking aim at the Northern Sectional.
Two of the top incoming recruits for Gophers men's tennis may square off this week, Tucker Saxon and Eric Frueh.
Although Tucker Saxon and Eric Frueh will be teammates on the Gophers tennis team next year, for now the two high school seniors are old rivals.
Barring any early-round upsets, the two will likely face off in a showdown this week in the semifinal singles round of the state high school tennis tournament on campus.
It might seem like a high-pressure situation for Saxon, the three-time defending Class 2A, Section 4 singles champion at Mahtomedi, who was announced last week as the latest signed 2011-12 Gophers tennis recruit.
Two Gophers recruits are currently marching through the state tennis tournament.
3rd-ranked Tennessee is the top seed in Minnesota’s section of the bracket.