For most people around the world, the word tennis is synonymous with the word individual. And for most the world, it’s just that. You have Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. All amazing athletes and some of the best in the sport of tennis. But they compete for themselves and their own glory. But when it comes to college tennis, it’s quite the opposite. You have Katarina Adamovic, Lucas Gerch and Julian Cash. All amazing athletes and some of the best in the sport of tennis. But they compete not only for themselves, but for the glory and success of their teammates and for Oklahoma State.
“We’re a super close team. It helps us on the court.” Said junior Julian Cash. “We always know that everyone’s going to give 100 percent and we don’t just fight for ourselves, we fight for each other and I feel like it gives us an extra boost in each match.
When interviewing players and coaches last week, the term that came up the most amongst all of them wasn’t team, it was family. And there aren’t many sports out there that allow you to be as close to every member of team. For the Cowgirls it’s 11 members, and for the Cowboys, it’s nine. And I’m not saying that if you’re a baseball or football player that you can’t be a family with your teammates. But with football it’s more likely that you’re going to be closer to the guys in the same position group or on the same side of the ball. And typically with baseball, outfielders stick with outfielders, infielders with infielders and pitchers with pitchers. Not always the case, but typically.
“We’re like a family.” Said senior Lucas Gerch. “I mean we hang out a lot, outside of practice too. We have practice every day, so it’s just we’re really good friends. Everyone.”
And for players like Cash, Adamovic and Gerch among many other players from foreign countries, it can be tough leaving your friends and family and coming to play college tennis. In fact, most of the players from outside the US said that they didn’t know anything about college tennis or had even heard of the NCAA. And to come in and be able to create those bonds have been essential to the success of both programs. “It’s a really friendly and family atmosphere.” Said senior Katarina Adamovic. “And for my three and a half years here, I made a whole new family and I’m really blessed for that.”
(Photo credit: Bruce Waterfield Ok State)