Oct. 30, 2012
Senior Daniel Whitehead recently won the singles draw of the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship. The victory punched his ticket to New York, where he will be one of 32 collegiate players competing in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships from Nov. 8-10.
What is the first thing you’ll do when you get to New York, or something you would like to do other than tennis?
I’ve been joking with Ricky (Associate Head Coach Ricardo Rubio) that he and I are going to N.Y. to see the city and we will play some tennis on the side. I’ve never been to New York so I’m just pumped to see everything and maybe play some tennis if I have time.
Sum up the experience of winning the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship...
Winning regionals was my best tournament win in college. I didn’t go into the tournament thinking about winning it – I felt pretty relaxed the whole weekend and played some good tennis. I think a Longhorn has won either the singles or doubles championship for regionals the last 4 or 5 years so I’m just glad I was able to contribute to that streak.
What is your favorite tradition at UT?
The winning tradition. If you come to UT you can expect some W's.
What is the best environment you have played in?
Anything that involves a rival school – doesn’t matter if we were at a public park, it would get intense.
Best part about being a UT tennis student-athlete?
The resources. We have a professional medical staff on hand (shout-out to Terry Murphy), world-class strength coaches, world-class facilities, great academic work, and it’s all in one of the best cities in the country and definitely in the best state of the country: TEXAS.
How has coach Center changed the way he coaches as you’ve progressed in the program?
Coach Center is a steady guy – he consistently asks me what I’m going to do for the program today and calls me a rookie everyday. But this just shows how he is as a coach, comes to the courts everyday ready to get better. He also told me that when I do something good, he would tell me… but he hasn’t said that yet so I guess I’ll just keep trying to improve.
How has this year's tennis team improved?
This year’s team has improved from last year simply by keeping everybody from last year and adding a couple ballers in Nick (Naumann) and Andy (Andrew Korinek). I’d say the best part about this team is that we know we are capable of being very successful, everyone’s confidence has grown after getting some experience last year and I think it bodes well for this year. I know the potential for this team is great.
What does the tennis team do during Texas football home games?
We get rowdy at the football games. If you aren’t losing your voice, you are doing it wrong.