2022年2月12日,星期六 2022年2月12日
56华氏度 Dallas, TX
网球

For Four SMU Mustangs, the Dallas Open Offered a Glimpse at the Big Time

The student-athletes competed against—and got a schooling from—the best tennis players in the world.
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SMU student-athletes Ivan Thamma (left) and Adam Neff make their ATP Tour debuts on Tuesday at the Dallas Open. 乔治·沃克

并不是每天你都能和世界上最好的运动员较量自己的技术。但对于四名SMU网球运动员来说,这一生中的机会在本周的2022达拉斯网球公开赛上出现了,这要归功于职业水平锦标赛的通配符。

SMU tennis players Caleb Chakravarthi, Liam Krall, Ivan Thamma, and Adam Neff made their debuts on the ATP Tour while juggling classes, studying, and the stresses of being college students.

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Caleb Chakravarthi, a senior and two-year captain of the SMU tennis team, headlined Tuesday’s College Night at the Dallas Open. (Photo by George Walker)

Chakravarthi, a senior on the SMU tennis team and a two-year captain, headlined Tuesday’s College Night, dropping a 6-1, 6-0 first-round singles match to Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, a professional player who has been ranked as high as No. 25 in the world.

Though Chakravarthi lost his match in just 56 minutes on the stadium court, he said he would not forget the experience of playing in his first pro-level tennis tournament in front of a home crowd. “It was a little nerve wracking, but it was nice to get to play in front of my coaches, parents, family, and friends,” he said. “It was a great atmosphere and experience.”

Krall, who last season was named the 2021 American Athletic Conference’s Freshman of the Year and has posted an impressive 26-13 record in his first year and a half of collegiate tennis at SMU, lost his match Saturday in the qualifying singles draw by a scoreline of 7-6, 6-3 to Austria’s Jruij Rodionov.

“这非常令人振奋,”克莱尔说。“职业球员的氛围真的很特别,能有机会在这样的水平上比赛真是太棒了。”

在达拉斯网球公开赛迄今为止最激动人心的一场比赛中,由研究生伊万·塔玛和大二学生亚当·内夫组成的SMU双打二人组在周二的双打首轮比赛中,将前世界排名第11的美国职业双人组合萨姆·克雷和杰克逊·维思罗带入第三盘决胜局。在竞争激烈的7-6、4-6、10-5比赛中,职业选手最终取得了领先,但对大学生来说,这是一个令人印象深刻的壮举。

“It was an incredibly close match,” Neff said. “We had three set points in the first set when we were up 40-love. At the end of the day, they were the more experienced team, which was the difference in the match. They played some great tennis and turned it on in the tiebreak when they needed to.”

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利亚姆·克莱尔周日在达拉斯公开赛资格赛中正手击球。(乔治·沃克摄)

一生的工作

Collegiate tennis players spend countless hours on the practice court, perfecting their games. But according to the NCAA, less than 2 percent of student-athletes go on to be professionals in their sport. That stat won’t deter Chakravarthi, Krall, Thamma, or Neff, who say they’d like to see if they have what it takes at the next level

查克拉瓦提说:“我想成为职业选手,看看情况如何。”。“我想参加挑战者巡回赛,希望有一天能回到达拉斯公开赛。”

For Neff, the experience of facing off against the best tennis players in the world was a confidence booster. “I think it helps with belief,” he said. “We’ve seen what it looks like to get to the next level, and it shows us that we can compete with anybody. There’s nobody in college tennis that we don’t feel like we can share a court with and be right there with them.”

在大学和职业水平上打网球最显著的区别是什么?“当然是健身,”克莱尔说。“他们的得分时间更长。他们的射门更大,发球也更大。”

专业连接

All four Mustangs say their favorite tennis players to watch growing up were Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Neff even named his childhood dog Rafa, after the 21-time Grand Slam champion.

但最亲密的亲关系离我们家更近。塔玛与职业网球选手简森·布鲁克斯比(Jenson Brooksby)在北加利福尼亚州打成平手,后者目前在ATP巡回赛中排名第54位。Brooksby出生在萨克拉门托,而THAMA是加利福尼亚大学戴维斯的转学学生,他在网球队效力了四年。(塔马正在考克斯商学院学习,获得管理硕士学位,这是他第五年也是最后一年的资格。)周三,在布鲁克斯比的第二轮比赛之前,可以看到两人在练习场上打球。

Season Ahead

SMU’s head tennis coach, Grant Chen, praised Dallas Open tournament director Peter Lebedev for his support of his team and college tennis. (The week-long Dallas Open takes place at SMU’s home court, the Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex.) “The opportunity for Caleb and Liam, and Adam and Ivan in doubles, is just incredible,” he said. “It’s a moment they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

But it will be a quick turnaround and back to business as usual for the foursome. The SMU tennis team faces off against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday at 9 a.m.

Limited tickets are available for the remaining sessions of the Dallas Open, which concludes Sunday with the championship singles match starting at 1 p.m.

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Brandon J.Call

Brandon J.Call

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Brandon J.Call是D首席执行官杂志一个屡获殊荣的商业和数据记者,电话曾被接听…

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