Sun staff writer Tim Morales recently sat down with senior two-time first team All-Ivy singles star David Volfson from Cornell men’s tennis to talk about the upcoming fall season, his trip back home for a tournament in Canada and the greatest of all time, Roger Federer.
1. What’s your favorite thing about tennis?
I love the variety and the unpredictability in the sport. I remember my father always told me tennis is like a chess game and how you can implement many different strategies against different opponents. I think that’s why tennis is so amusing to play and watch. Also today, I think the game is getting more unpredictable as you don’t have one or two guys dominating the pro circuit anymore.
2. Why did you decide on Cornell?
I believe that Cornell has the best of both worlds — a top academic school along with the coaches and resources to make one of the best tennis programs in the country. I trusted [head coach Silviu Tanasoiu’s] approach to the game and the way he wanted to develop the tennis program. He is developing a program where players can train for a few years after high school to transition to the pro circuit. I think we will see more and more players playing professional tennis with a Cornell degree.
3. What was your biggest weakness last year?
The biggest weakness we had last year as a team was not having 6 guys show up with their top game. We lacked a bit of consistency and communication which we have been working on already.
4. What did you do over the summer?
I competed around North America and Europe in future and challenger events in preparation for my senior year. It was a great learning experience playing against some top level players on the hard courts in Canada and red clay in Europe.
5. Do you have any personal goals for the fall?
I don’t like to set specific performance goals, because as I said earlier, tennis is very unpredictable. I have some things I am working on court with my coaches and as long as I continue to improve my game, I am confident that my results will follow. I will be playing a couple future events, qualifying in challengers and one or two college tournaments.
6. What’s one thing you wish you knew freshman year that you know now?
I think the best piece of advice I could give my freshman-year self is to focus on quality over quantity. I dealt a lot with injuries and overall fatigue. I have definitely learned how to make a better schedule and take care of my body over the past couple years.
7. What fall event are you most looking forward to?
I always enjoy playing the future tournaments back home in Toronto. Also, the college tournaments are always fun because we are travelling as a team which is not common in tennis.
8. What’s your biggest improvement since freshman year?
I mentioned this a bit earlier, but the biggest improvements I made is better organizational skills which has helped me improve my technical skills on court at a faster rate.
9. What do you hope to teach the freshman this year?
I hope I can inspire my teammates through my work ethic and positive attitude. It’s a long season and we need everybody to stay on the right path in order to be successful. The only way we’ll achieve that is if we hold each other accountable and look out for one another. Tennis may be an individual sport, but to achieve success here we need to be a team.
10. If you could play one person in tennis, who would it be?
I would play the G.O.A.T: Roger Federer. There is so much you can learn from just watching him and I bet [you could learn] even more if you actually had the chance to play against him.