While the men’s tennis team is no stranger to international players, this season, the Red brings an even larger intercontinental roster to the courts. One freshman in particular, Colin Sinclair, joins the Red from a continent almost 10,000 miles away — the Brisbane, Australia native has made the journey to Ithaca to join the Red tennis squad.
Head coach Silviu Tanasoiu said having players from different countries benefits the team as a whole.
“It’s something I’m personally interested in in developing within our team,” Tanasoiu said. “I think it offers a good opportunity for our entire team to learn about a different culture and somebody that has a different perspective on life and values different things than most of the American players do. Without a doubt, I think it adds a value to our program.”
Junior Kyle Berman added that the fact Sinclair hails from outside the United States provides a strategic advantage on the courts.
“Players from other countries often have unique styles, which often makes them harder to play against,” Berman said. “Having players from other countries also makes it difficult for other teams to create a game plan, since they are often not that well known.”
Because Sinclair comes from such a far away country, Tanasoiu did not see as much of Sinclair’s tennis play as he did the play of the other recruits before the season started. However, Tanasoiu said he is pleased with what he has seen from the Aussie so far.
“I’ve been extremely pleasantly surprised [at] how much potential there is in him and how much better he can get,” he said. “Colin will have a good impact on the team for sure. He has an enormous amount of potential, and I’m very excited about having him on the team.”
At a small tournament at the Reis Tennis Center a week ago, it was not only Sinclair’s level of play, but also his on-court attitude that impressed his coaches and teammates alike.
“He played really well, and he had a few good matches and beat a few of the starters from last year,” junior co-captain Sam Fleck said.
Tanasoui added that Sinclair’s calm demeanor has likely helped him during his play so far this season.
“From what I gathered from watching him practice and compete this week in the Men’s Open, just coming from Australia, I think he has a laid back personality—he’s very comfortable,” Tanasoiu said. “He plays within himself, he’s a very calm guy and I’m sure that’s why he was able to compete with a player who played three for us last year.
His teammates also mentioned that Sinclair would be a likely contender for a singles and doubles position this season.
“[Colin] also played doubles in practice and after a bit of practice he looks like he’ll be a great doubles player this year,” Fleck said. “I think he’ll be a great asset to the team in both singles and doubles.”
Berman confirmed that Sinclair is in the running for the singles and doubles spots.
“Colin has an all court game, good strokes and is good ball striker. He has the ability to compete for starting spots in singles and doubles,” Berman said.
With regards to fitting in with the rest of the team and adapting to a new environment as an international student, his coach had nothing but praise for the freshman from down under.
“I think he’s doing great,” Tanasoiu said. “[He’s] a very humble, modest, and down-to-earth kid. He’s laid back, easy to engage and I think the guys around the team just find him very pleasant to talk with and spend time with. He’s someone very hard not to get along with.”
Original Author: Olivia Wittels