East Lansing, Michigan- Recent Michigan State Men’s Tennis Graduate jack winker received three regional awards from the International Tennis Association (ITA) on Monday. For Division I tennis, the ITA is divided into 12 regions and Winkler was chosen for the Midwest as the most improved senior, also winning the Arthur Ashe Award and the Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.
Read the full version of the ITA here.
The Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship is awarded to student-athletes at the regional and national levels who have demonstrated exceptional sportsmanship and leadership, as well as academic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. The Rafael Osuna Award is the ITA’s oldest honor and is given to a Division I male player who demonstrates sportsmanship, character, excellent academics, and who has achieved outstanding achievement in tennis.
This is only the second time in the history of the men’s tennis program that a Spartan has received regional recognition from the ITA. In 1993, Mashiska Washington was named ITA Midwest Rookie of the Year. Washington was a two-time All-Big Ten winner, an ITA All-American, and qualified for the NCAA singles championships in 1994.
The Birmingham native has made his mark this season after missing his junior and senior years due to illness. After being sidelined for medical reasons in 2019-20, Winkler served as a volunteer assistant coach and continued to be an important leader for the Spartans. It was debatable whether Winkler would recover enough to return to the court, but he has bounced back better than ever and commandeered the No. 1 singles and doubles courts this year for the Greens and Whites.
Winkler went 13-17 overall in singles in the regular season, with a 10-10 record in doubles. Playing the majority of matches on the No. 1 field, Winkler went 9-10. He’s gone 5-5 in his last ten games and picked up a win over a nationally ranked opponent when he faced Stjin Slump of Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 20.
In doubles, Winkler combined for a 12-11 record among a variety of Spartan doubles partners. He went 6-2 with reed crockery2-2 with Nick Williams and was 3-5 playing with Graydon’s Lair.
At the end of the regular season, Winkler was named First Team All-Big Ten, marking the first All-B1G honor for a Spartan men’s tennis player since Gjis Linders in 2015.
Academically, Winkler was named Academic All-Big Ten and received the Gwendolyn Norrell Community Outreach and Leadership Award at the 2022 Spartan Academic Excellence Gala.
The Spartans capped off the 2022 season with a thrilling 4-3 win over Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, advancing to face top-seeded Ohio State before pulling out of the tournament with a 4-0 loss. -0 against the Buckeyes. MSU finished the year with an overall rating of 15-14 and a 2-9 record against conference opponents.
The ITA will announce the winners of each award nationwide on Monday, June 13.