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June 26, 1992 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-06-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

71.k.

77- ZA;,.:

SPORTS

Ace Tennis Player
Ends An Era

MICHAEL ROSENBAUM

Special to The Jewish News

T

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he "Danny Friedman
era" at Birmingham
Groves is over. Fried-
man's four years as the
Falcons' ace tennis player
ended May 29 when he drop-
ped a third-round match at
the Class A state tournament
in Midland. He was seeded
seventh after posting a 14-4
record for the year.
Friedman, an all-stater last
year and the Metro Suburban
Activities Association's
singles champion this season,
moves on this fall to the
University of Michigan where
he will play on the Wolverine
tennis team. The task of fill-
ing Friedman's tennis shoes
at Groves goes to Nathan
Cohen, who played No. 2
singles as a freshman this
season.
Friedman, Cohen and three
other Jewish players — Gabe
Gelman, David Hitsky and
Justin Green — helped take
Groves to the state finals and
a 13th-place finish.
Friedman, the team cap-
tain, played No. 1 singles for
the Falcons for four straight
years. "He is, without a
doubt, the best tennis player
Birmingham Groves has ever
had," said Groves coach Julie
McKnight.
Friedman displayed good
leadership qualities,
McKnight said. "He is a team
man. He really does care
about his teammates. I think
they realize that."
Tennis is an individual or
two-player sport, so Fried-
man's leadership was mainly
confined to emotional sup-
port. But, on McKnight's re-
quest, he often worked with
Cohen this season to give him
a taste of what he will face
next year when he is expected
to step into Friedman's spot.
Friedman will face stiffer
competition next year at U-M.
Although he didn't get a
scholarship — few tennis
players do — he's been
guaranteed a spot on the
Wolverines' team. "I'm just
glad I'm playing for
Michigan," he said. "That's
where I've always wanted to
play."
Strong groundstrokes are
the keys to Friedman's suc-
cess. "There isn't anybody in
the state who groundstrokes
better than Danny,"
McKnight said. "He has one
of the most awesome fore-
hands and backhands of any-
body in the state."

Friedman isn't normally a
serve-and-volleyer, but is
developing that part of his
game, McKnight said. "He
has worked on his serve and
his serve is much improved
this year. When he does use
his net game, it's very effec-
tive. It's my personal feeling
that he should use it more."
Friedman's game has im-
proved significantly over the
past four years. "I remember
when I was a freshman, I
didn't have all that strong of
a serve," Friedman said. "I
never came to the net. I'm
still learning, but I've learn-
ed how to adapt to a lot of dif-
ferent game styles and come
to the net . . . I can do a lot
more than just hit balls at the
baseline."
Friedman was physically
stronger this season after a
weight lifting regimen he

The task of filling
Friedman's tennis
shoes at Groves
goes to Nathan
Cohen, who played
No. 2 singles as a
freshman this
season.

recently began. "As a
freshman, almost everyone
was stronger than I was,"
Friedman said. "Now I'm just
as strong as almost everyone
I play."
Nathan Cohen, nicknamed
the "Fabulous Freshman" by
McKnight, had a 9-12 record
and was a regional finalist
this season.
"The most important thing
about Nathan is that he real-
ly hasn't been competing too
lone McKnight said. "He's
only been competing about
two or three years. A lot of
these guys who play tour-
naments have been playing a
lot longer. What he's done in
two years — he has a SEMTA
(Southeastern Michigan Ten-
nis Association) ranking — is
quite significant. I figure his
potential is immense!'
Cohen plays a technically
sound, all-court game. "He is
comfortable doing a lot of
things that sometimes
freshmen aren't," McKnight
said. "He's not strong enough
in any one of the aspects, but
he does come to the net, he
can take short balls and come
to the net. He does have a
total game rather than just
being at the baseline."
McKnight believes Cohen
has the intellect and

t.

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