March 28, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -
Over the last few weeks the Upstate men's tennis team has reached a few milestones. The Spartans claimed a victory over ETSU for the first time ever. Meanwhile, in the victory over Winthrop, senior Jack Roux recorded his 15th singles victory of the season and became the first player in school history to record 15 singles victories all four seasons.
With just three conference games remaining, Roux and his teammates have their eyes set on an Atlantic Sun Conference championship. The Spartans currently own a 15-5 record overall and a 7-0 mark in league play.
With his playing career nearly complete, Roux recently sat down with Alex Edwards of upstatespartans.com to discuss his playing career as well as plans for the future.
The men's tennis team currently sits 15-5 overall and 7-0 in A-Sun play with a national ranking of 54. What are the expectations of the team for the home stretch of the season?
First of all, this has been the best year since I have been here. This is our best ranking and we have beat several quality teams. Our expectations are to win conference and with just three conference matches remaining we feel that we can achieve that goal. We all practice extremely hard and we feel it is our time. Also we want to continue to win so that we can continue to improve our national ranking.
In the match against Winthrop, you recorded your 15th singles win of the season and became the first player in school history to record 15 wins all four years. How special is it for you to accomplish a feat that no one else has?
It felt so good to hear that, because it is a record that I didn't expect to achieve. In my four seasons here at Upstate I have always tried to do my best to help my team win and knowing that my hard work has paid off is really special.
Last weekend, Upstate defeated ETSU for the first time in A-Sun play. What was that experience like for you and your teammates to defeat the Bucs for the first time and halt their 38-match conference win streak?
That experience was absolutely amazing. The match was extremely close but we were able to pull out the victory. In the doubles matches, Marco Linconir and I pulled off a comeback win (9-8). Ramiro Blanco and Edgar Rodriguez lost their doubles match, but we were able to win thanks to Javier Tori and Renzo Airaldi posting an 8-6 victory. The singles matches were extremely close as well. In my singles match, I didn't feel very well and I lost my match. I tried to do my best but it was a bad match for me. My teammates were able to pick up enough victories giving us the victory over ETSU. Ramiro won the deciding match (6-1, 6-7, 6-4) and we all celebrated on the court he was playing on, it was very exciting. With that victory over ETSU we knew that we had a great chance to win the conference. But beating them doesn't guarantee anything, so we have continued to work extremely hard at each and every match.
How do you prepare for a match?
The day before a match I try to eat well but not over do it. Also if I need anything I will visit the athletic trainer. Before I go to bed the night before the match, I try to visualize playing the match and I will try to imagine different scenarios that could happen. I try to get plenty of sleep so that I am well rested for the matches. On the day of a match, I will make sure I eat healthy so that I don't risk upsetting my stomach. I will warm up until I feel ready and then I get ready to get crazy on the tennis court.
With this being your final season, what are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I am going with my parents and some of my friends to somewhere fun. After that I am going work at a tennis summer camp during the month of June. Following that I plan to go over to Europe to play in tennis tournaments during July and August. When that is over I may go to Chile to play professionally or I may stay here in the United States and pursue my master's degree.
Do you prefer singles or doubles? Why?
I prefer singles, because that is where I play the best and it is more fun compared to doubles in my opinion. In doubles you have to think a lot more in order to create points.
What has been your most memorable moment at Upstate? Why?
I have so many moments that come to mind. One that stands out in my mind is when we were division II, we defeated Valdosta State when they were a top-five team in the nation and I was the deciding singles match as I won 7-6 in the third set thanks to a 9-7 victory in the tie breaker. It was an amazing moment. Also I would have to go with the victory over ETSU. But hopefully my most memorable moment will be when we win conference. Let's go Spartans!
Who is your favorite professional tennis player? Why?
My favorite player is Gaston Gaudio from Argentina. I love how he plays, his backhand is simply amazing. I also like his personality and I have learned a lot from watching him play.
Are there any other sports that you enjoy playing or watching? Why?
I enjoy the sport of soccer. In my home country of Chile it is the most popular sport, so I grew up watching and playing the sport. I love to watch the national soccer team and they are my favorite team. It is incredible watching them play.
If your teammates were to use one adjective to describe you, what do you think they would choose and why?
I think they would choose charismatic. I love to pump up the team on the tennis court whether it is at practice or on the day of a match. I am always doing things during practice to make everyone laugh. Also the team is very united and whenever someone isn't being themselves we all know it. With this being my last semester as part of the team, I have tried to make the most of every minute.