Final Dual Matches Await UW Seniors
April 10, 2009
By Taylor Soper
They hail from Japan, Switzerland and British Columbia. Their favorite professional players range from Roger Federer to David Nalbandian. Their favorite Seattle spots vary from Chinatown to the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
Despite arriving at the UW in three completely different ways and experiencing three unique collegiate tennis careers, seniors Ryo Sekiguchi, Patrik Fischer and David Chu all share one thing in common: success.
'I don't think they could have came from more divergent paths,' said head coach Matt Anger of the three seniors, who have a combined 154 singles wins. 'But they all are great to have for us. All of them work hard.'
The three seniors will play their final two dual matches this weekend at home against No. 37 Cal and No. 8 Stanford. Along with great accomplishments, all three seniors play with quieter-than-normal demeanors and let their talent speak for them.
'It just keeps me focused on tennis,' said Fischer, who is currently ranked No. 113 in the ITA singles rankings. 'It doesn't cost me too much energy.'
Sekiguchi, who is coming off two impressive singles wins last weekend at UCLA and USC, noted that while he was once emotional on the court, he found that staying focused was a better option.
'Before, I was very loud,' he said. 'But then I felt like I was losing a lot of energy by doing that, so I tried to focus more on tennis and not my emotions.'
Both Anger and associate head coach Chris Russell said that the quiet demeanors make what the seniors have to say that much more important.
'When they speak, everybody is going to listen,' Anger said. 'As college veterans, they really have a feel for when they need to be serious and when it's OK to laugh.'
Fischer, also known as 'Fisch,' has come a long way since losing in his first career match at No. 4 singles against Eastern Washington. The four-year player is now one of the UW's top competitors and could get an NCAA singles spot with two wins this weekend.
'For the first two years, it was tough,' said the native of Bern, Switzerland. 'I feel like I'm improving and doing better every year, and especially this year.'
Chu, better known as 'Crazy,' has also spent all four years on the team at the UW and has 64 total singles wins. His brother, Daniel, played tennis for the Huskies from 2003-2007 and racked up 71 career singles wins.
'David's impact has been felt from the moment he stepped on the campus here,' Russell said of Chu. 'Every day he just gives everything, every ounce of energy he's got. There's probably not one person that would say, `I don't want to practice with David.''
Sekiguchi transferred to the UW after two seasons at the University of San Diego. He has the most career singles wins of any Husky with 65. With his trademark two-handed stroke, he's brought consistency to the UW team.
It's no secret that the coaches have appreciated having three successful, solid seniors who have shown a great amount of effort.
'I think people are willing to try hard,' Anger said. 'But willing to go the extra mile is what they have.'
The No. 21 men's team will face off against No. 37 California 1 p.m. Friday and No. 8 Stanford 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The matches will be played outdoors on UW's Bill Quillian Courts.