Q & A With Alex Rosinski
May 3, 2010
Now in year four with the program, redshirt junior Alex Rosinski has been rewarded for several years of hard work with the most significant playing time of his career. Rosinski has started 15 of 22 singles matches including five of six Pac-10 duals this year and has started 18 doubles matches along with junior Tobi Obenaus. Rosinski and Obenaus were ranked for much of the season, a high of 42nd, and recently advanced to the finals of the invitational draw at the Pac-10 Championships. Rosinski himself was a semifinalist in the invitational singles draw as well. Heading towards the NCAA Championships, the sixth spot will be critical for UW's chances, as the Huskies are 13-0 when they get the win at No. 6. Rosinski was a Pac-10 All-Academic Second Team member last year and maintains a high GPA while majoring in biochemistry. He talked with GoHuskies about his plans for medical school and perhaps becoming a surgeon someday, operating with the same level of precision he strives for on the court.
GoHuskies.com: This has obviously been a big season for you in terms of seeing a ton of playing time and starting consistently in both singles and doubles. How has it felt for you to play such a big role this year?
Alex Rosinski: It's been a really great experience and it's been so much fun. Regardless of whether I'm playing or not I think being a part of this team is the greatest. So it's definitely been a great season but I want more. I want to get better; I have to get better if we're going to be one of the top teams.
GH: Your first year when you were redshirting, did you think you'd eventually reach a level where you could be starting or were there any doubts at first?
AR: Definitely, I kept thinking someday I would get out there and play. It was tough those first years not playing and trying to get to the level where I could play, but I kept fighting and working on my game. I'm glad I stuck with it, and like a lot of things in life you're not always successful from the start, but if you stick with it, good things will happen.
GH: I imagine the coaches were pretty instrumental in keeping you focused on improvement.
AR: Definitely yeah, I think that's one of the reasons I chose Washington: Chris and Matt. They're phenomenal coaches they really helped my game tremendously.
GH: What specific parts of your game have improved to help get you to where you are this season?
AR: I think its maturity, just playing smarter, I really have a sense of purpose out there, how I'm constructing points. Plus I've gotten stronger and faster, a better athlete and better player. Also, the serve I've worked on a lot. I think a few years ago all of the pieces of the puzzle were there, it was just a matter of putting the pieces together.
GH: Coming off the Pac-10 Championships, you had a big weekend there, making the semis in singles and finals in doubles. Playing for a Pac-10 title of any sort must be pretty special.
AR: It's been great playing with Tobi. It's so fun playing with him; I feel lucky to have had the chance to play with him for the last year. It was a lot of fun for sure (at Pac-10s). We had a couple good wins and it's too bad we came up short in the final but were definitely getting better as a team, and that's what we want, I think we're going to be peaking for NCAAs together as a team. I feel like we're really going to be ready for NCAAs.
GH: Now you and Tobi at least in singles have sort of the opposite demeanor on court where he gets pretty fired up but you seem more steady. It's interesting that you guys would make a good doubles team.
AR: Yeah, we definitely complement each other in ways like that. We've played together enough that we know each other now, and know each other's games, and that's big in doubles. I love how competitive he is. I'd much rather play with a guy that's fiery than a guy that looks like he doesn't care out there. I love that competitive edge he has. There's a time and place for everything, can't be calm all the time, can't be fired up all the time.
GH: What have been some of the highlights for you personally so far this season? What matches are you happiest with?
AR: My match against Minnesota. I thought that was a big match because I was down a set and a break and came back. Being on the road and playing a guy that was very fired up to be out there. I thought that was a big win and showed a lot of character. And then the Cal match, even though I lost I fought really hard out there and was down 5-0 in the third and came back and almost pulled off the comeback. All the matches I've come back from down a set have been special to me because to go out there and things aren't going my way, and I problem solve and keep fighting and keep hanging around and then I figure it out. That's the best feeling to figure it out, come from behind and get the win.
GH: Was that Cal match the longest you've ever played?
AR: Maybe the longest extended period I've played because I played the doubles right before, so I think it came out to five hours straight of tennis. I've played some long matches but definitely in my college career for sure. The long matches are always great memories.
GH: Talk a little more about that Cal match. Unfortunately Cal had clinched when you were still down in the third, so in theory you didn't have as much to play for. How did you manage to keep pushing yourself all the way back?
AR: It was a point by point thing. I wasn't looking at whether I could come back and win the match, just looking at, 'can I win this point?' And I just took it one point at a time really. There's always something to play for, we could play them at NCAAs. The team thing is definitely most important but I have things to play for to be ready for the NCAAs, and always playing for your own pride.
GH: So now you're a biochemistry major with impressive grades for anyone let alone an athlete. The obvious question is how do you keep up with everything and balance your time?
AR: It can get stressful. That being said I enjoy it, I enjoy tennis a lot. I really enjoy my classes; I'm passionate about the medical profession and plan on going to medical school. It can get stressful but it's also fun and I've definitely made sacrifices. I don't live the life of an average college student by any means, but the experience of being on this team is great. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Even though I'm still in college, I've kind of already started my medical career, started the foundation for more complex knowledge that's going to come later. In a sense I'm kind of already in my training of becoming a doctor. That's something I have to take seriously, and I have to be responsible to achieve my goals and dreams of becoming a surgeon.
GH: You're thinking performing surgery is where you want to head with medicine?
AR: I'm not totally sure, I know I want to do something where lives are on the line because I like that pressure and I think tennis has taught me how to perform under pressure. But you know in all medical professions lives are on the line. But in some it's more immediate than others. I think my experiences on the team are going to set me up for success in my professional career.