Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Q&A with Nick Cromydas

Junior tennis player Nick Cromydas took a moment to reflect on his stellar victory Sunday and with whom he'd like to play mixed doubles on the women's team.

The Sports VU: Where does your match on Sunday rank in terms of your all time
best matches?

Nick Cromydas: Sundays match is a memory I will probably take with me the rest of my life. The atmosphere was that of a college basketball game. I would rank it as No. 1 so far in my career, because of what was on the line. It was Ryan Preston and Evan Dufaux’s last home match ever (Senior Day) and a must-win SEC match. I could not stop thinking about how I wanted their last home memory to be a win and it really fueled me to get through a tough match. Hopefully we can use it to get the momentum going against Tennessee and Georgia next weekend.

SV: Coach Duvenhage had this to say about you after your match: "I've coached a lot of great players, I've coached a lot of NCAA champions and there may be some players out there that are more talented than (Cromydas), there may have been players that I've coached that have prettier games, but there aren't any that are tougher." What does it mean to you that he said this?

NC: It means a great deal to me. I have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for Coach Duvenhage, and to me, it is the ultimate compliment. When I graduate, I would like to be remembered for always putting it on the line, and hope I can continue to do so and help the team out in any way I can.

SV: How would you describe your game to someone who had never seen you play?

NC: Coach jokes around that I sometimes it looks like I don’t have a plan and that I just kind of wing it. He dubbed my style of play as “Street Balling”, so Ill go with that.

SV: Ryan will be graduating soon and has had a phenomenal career at Vanderbilt, what has he meant to the team?

NC: Ryan will be tremendously missed in the years to come. His work ethic, determination and concern for the well being of the team is something that will be impossible to replace. Many people will look at his statistics, SEC and NCAA honors and wins and say he had an unbelievable career, and he absolutely did. But it was the little things that made him great. What separated him was his ability to push us each day in practice, working harder and wanting it more. He inspires and makes all of us better. My fondest memories competing have been playing next to him, and I consider it an honor and privilege to have spent three years as his teammate, and cannot think of a better ambassador to Vanderbilt University.

SV: Has the team met your expectations thus far, and where do you see the team going come tourney time?

NC: This year we had the ambition of being a top ten team and host regionals for the NCAA tournament. We have not achieved that yet, so our expectations have not been met. We still have a handful of matches left against top teams, as well as the SEC tournament and I see no reason why we can’t continue to strive to meet this goal. Come tourney time, I believe will be at our best. We have proven we can play with the nations top teams, it is just a matter of putting the pieces together. It is in our hands how well we do at the tournament, and if we come out and play like we can, we're going to surprise a lot of people.

SV: What's on your iPod these days?

NC: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eminem, Enrique Inglesias-Ping Pong Song

SV: Which team do you enjoy playing most, and why?

NC: Any SEC school. You know its going to be a battle every time, and the atmosphere is always intense.

SV: What's your favorite surface?

NC: Grass

SV: Does the Men's team ever play mix doubles with the Women's tennis team? (if so, who do you like to play with?)

NC: We have played a couple of times. I’d like to think Amanda Taylor and I would make a good team. We grew up playing in the Midwest Section together and I think we would compliment each other well.

SV: So you get to eat at McGugin, what other teams would you let sit at your table?

NC: Anybody who would be willing and able to put up with our teams nightly dinner rituals and antics.

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