Player Spotlight

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) International student Fernando Armendaris has turned the men’s tennis team into an Atlantic Sun competitor in 2011. Learning the game in Ecuador, Fernando made strides in doubles play this year, helping MU to a 9-11 record.

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) International student Fernando Armendaris has turned the men’s tennis team into an Atlantic Sun competitor in 2011. Learning the game in Ecuador, Fernando made strides in doubles play this year, helping MU to a 9-11 record.

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(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) International student Fernando Armendaris has turned the men’s tennis team into an Atlantic Sun competitor in 2011. Learning the game in Ecuador, Fernando made strides in doubles play this year, helping MU to a 9-11 record.

A native of Quito, Ecuador, senior Fernando Armendaris traveled to America to follow his passion for playing tennis.

Cluster: How did you first get involved playing tennis?
Armendaris: Both of my parents are tennis players. When I was five years old they took me to a tennis academy in Ecuador. When I was twelve years old I really got into it and started being competitive.

C: How does tennis in America differ from Ecuador?
A: It is so different. I live in the mountains, so the ball travels faster. I grew up playing tennis on clay. I had to get used to the court when I came to America. In Ecuador we don’t really play much doubles, either.

C: How do you prepare for each match? Do you have a pre-game ritual?
A: Right before I play the match I pray and ask God that what I do, I do for His glory.

C: Having played tennis all four years, which seasons would you say have been your most productive?
A: My junior year, because my personal records were really good. Tennis is a team sport. So team-wise it is this year, because the talent we have on the team is unbelievable. We beat Stetson, which is something we haven’t done is six years. The A-Sun conference this year has been so competitive and so close. It is exciting because you never know what is going to happen.

C: How have you gotten better this season as opposed to the last seasons?
A: Doubles, double, doubles for sure, and volleys in general and doubles strategy.

C: What is one thing that Coach Woolfolk tells you that has stuck with you the most?
A: Just fight. He doesn’t get mad at us when we lose, but he expects us to fight and leave everything on the court. That reminds me that no matter what I do, I am always supposed to fight and play with my heart. It all comes down to who wants it more.

C: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Over the summer I will go back home to do a study abroad program. After that my future is uncertain. I would love to come back to America and work here for a while. In the long run, I would love to go home and take everything that I have learned and try to open NGOs and connect that to the Gospel. My heart is on the mission field and to spread the message of hope.

C: Who inspires you the most?
A: It is definitely Jesus. He is a servant and He doesn’t think of himself but how to serve others. Even though I fail all the time, He is my living example.

C: Who are some of your favorite professional tennis players?
A: Novak Djokovic. It’s funny because not that many people like him. I think his game style is simple and he tries really hard to win. He is a medium point between Federer and Nadal. I don’t think he has lost a season match. So it is definitely a good time to like Novak.

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