Men’s tennis starts strong

Thalia Doe, Sports Editor

Men’s tennis is off to a slow start only having one tournament in the season so far. Their Sept. 18 tournament resulted in 35 wins and only four losses. Stefan Andrei, computer science freshman, says he’s had a rough couple of years but is glad that things have changed for the better. Originally from Romania, he is happy to play his favorite sport with no restrictions.

“Since I am a huge tennis lover, being able to play my favorite sport with almost no restrictions is absolutely amazing. It has been a roughly couple of years, but I am glad that things have changed. The restrictions being lifted played little to no role in my decision to come to MSU from Romania. I heard that this place is amazing from Anda Ghinga, another Romanian tennis player from the women’s team, and I decided I wanted to come here,” Andrei said.

Andrei says he has high hopes this season and wants to come every day and give his best so he can become the best version of himself. Andrei says the biggest difference between Romania and here is he is getting to know what it means to be a part of team.

“I have high hopes for this season. Personally, I want to come every day and give my best at practice in order to become the best version of me. Whereas for my team goals, I have my eyes set in the national trophy. The transition from Romani to here is quite big, here having to put more effort into my conditioning and strength. Moreover, here I actually get to know what being a part of a team means, since in Romania there are not as many team tournaments as there are here.

Andrei says he is most excited this year to play for the tennis team. From the first tournament that took place on Sept 18. He said being able to hear all the cheers from my teammates was absolutely amazing.

Alex Martinez Roca, mechanical engineering senior, said that he is very excited about coming back without having to worry about any restrictions, especially since this is his last year of eligibility.

“The opportunity to play this season ‘without’ COVID-19, honestly I’m very excited. It’s my last year of eligibility so I’m anxious to give it all I got and just perform the best I can and help the team go as far as we ever have. Our team this year is really young; we have four freshmen and we’ve all just been working so hard ever since we got here in August. I’m just really excited to see what this season holds for us. Last year, it wasn’t as intense, we didn’t nearly have as many games as we do now, and I think we’ve all grown and matured a lot since. Half of the team are seniors, and the other half are freshman, we are really strong and hopefully we can come out with the results that we want,” Martinez Roca said.

Martinez Roca says his goals have not really changed from last year, he wants to continue to be able to become an All-American in singles and doubles.

“Last year I was so close to becoming an All-American. You have to be in the top 20 and I finished in the top 25. I’m going to work really hard this year to qualify. Overall, as a team we are all going to try our best to be in the best position as possible, and that goes for tennis and in school too which is also really important to each one of us,” Martinez Roca said.

As a senior, Martinez Roca says that when he first came here, he felt really lost. It was his first time being away from his parents, family and friends.

“It was a new chapter in my life. What helped me a lot was being a part of the tennis team, it allowed me to adapt to MSU quickly and make friends easily along the way. I’ve matured over the years and am now the captain of the tennis team. My goal is to make sure everyone has a good year and works hard every day, and for the freshmen to help them adapt to MSU and the environment of the team,” Martinez Roca said.

The next tournament for Men’s tennis will be Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 in the MSU Tennis Center at the ITA South Central Regional.