Conditioning, teamwork focus for men’s tennis in fall

Led by two senior captains, the TCU men’s tennis team will use this fall’s tournaments to prepare for the more competitive spring season, assistant coach Jeff Beaman said. “The fall season focuses more on conditioning,” Beaman said. “We also focus on individual things and find doubles pairing because in the spring, from day one, it is competitive.”

Head coach Joey Riv‚ said the fall season is used to improve players and that they do not think about rankings.

“We have a great core of players who are very hardworking,” Riv‚ said. “We have no outright superstars, but seniors Rafael Abreu and Jacopo Tezza are our leaders.”

Abreu and Tezza played doubles at last week’s All-American Qualifying tournament. The duo advanced to the main draw before losing.

“They have never played doubles together before,” Beaman said. “The All-American Qualifying tournament is one of the biggest college events, and only the top players compete.”

Abreu said he was concerned about how they were going to play, but they fought hard, focused and won their first three matches to qualify for the main draw.

Despite having never played doubles together before, Abreu and Tezza have been roommates since freshman year.

“Playing doubles with Tezza is easy because we have a good relationship,” Abreu said.

Tezza said he and Abreu have similar playing styles.

“We both like to play on the baseline,” Tezza said. “We like to compete; we like tough situations, and that is our key to success.”

Riv‚ said the two have different leadership styles.

“Jacopo is a vocal leader, but Rafael is an on-the-court type of guy,” Riv‚ said.

Beaman said juniors Craig Stopa and Andrew Ulrich also are having successful seasons after winning a doubles match in the Collin Fall Open.

Several players will see action this weekend. Abreu, Tezza, junior Radu Barbu and senior Jordan Freitas will compete at the Midland Invitational this weekend, and junior Robert Gallman will compete in a professional qualifying event.

Abreu said this season is the seniors’ time to shine.

“We need to be focused for every tournament,” Abreu said. “We need to try hard on every point.