Corwin adapting to injured wrist

The sophomore won two matches while wearing a cast on his hand Saturday.

Sophomore Felix Corwin returns the ball to Illinois State in the Baseline Tennis Center on Feb. 27.

Daily File Photo

Sophomore Felix Corwin returns the ball to Illinois State in the Baseline Tennis Center on Feb. 27.

Jack White

Sophomore Felix Corwin slipped backward and fell on his wrist in practice the first week of February. The tumble had a big cost: Corwin broke his radius, a bone between the elbow and wrist joints.
 
 
The break caused him to wear a cast on his right hand last Saturday against Army and Illinois State, but it didn’t stop him from winning two matches.
 
 
“He’s been doing different things,” head coach Geoff Young said. “He’s been working more on his slice and coming to the net. He needs to get to the net because if guys can expose his [injured] backhand, it’s trouble.”
 
 
Corwin’s endurance was tested in his first match Saturday against Michael Nguyen of Army. Nguyen forced a tiebreaker in the first set, but Corwin was able to win 7-6 (8-6).
 
 
He finished the match in the second set with a 6-3 victory.
 
 
“In [tiebreaker] matches, it’s just because I’m defending so much to try to stay away from my backhand, I’m running a lot,” Corwin said. “Those matches are definitely more tiring just because I’m running around the court a little bit more than I would fully healthy.”
 
 
He won his second singles match of the day against Andreas Boers of Illinois State more easily, sweeping the match 6-4, 6-4.
 
 
The two victories on Saturday were Corwin’s first since returning from his injury. He lost his first three matches upon his return on Feb. 14 against Drake but is still 4-5 in singles this spring.
 
 
The injury has forced Corwin to step back from doubles despite it being one of his strengths. He has played only one doubles match since his return, a 6-2 loss to Drake alongside freshman Justyn Levin. 
 
 
“With his hand, he can’t hit a two-hand return,” Young said. “It felt like we wanted to give [freshman Josip Krstanovic] another chance because Felix was so limited with his one-hand return. Then Josip did pretty well, started returning better, and [Krstanovic and Levin] have been doing pretty well for us.”  
 
 
In the fall Corwin formed a potent doubles pair with sophomore Matic Spec that was one of Minnesota’s strong points.
 
 
The two were 6-2 in the fall together and won the International Tennis Association Central Region doubles championship in October.
 
 
The pair played two matches in the spring together and went 1-1 before Corwin injured his wrist.
 
 
Corwin could provide a boost to the Gophers doubles groups when healthy, and Young said learning to win with his injury will help the sophomore when he feels 100 percent again.
 
 
“[He needs] just an overall higher level of aggressiveness with each and every ball … so his backhand won’t be exposed,” Young said. “He has a great backhand, [and] when he gets his hand back, he’ll have that, but he’ll [have] all the other aspects that he developed.”