Sports

Wise Beyond His Years

One big reason for the noticeable success of the men’s tennis team is Daniel Vallverdu, a freshman who came to Miami all the way from Valencia, Venezuela.

Vallverdu has emerged as a promising young talent with a great deal of upside. Before arriving to campus, Vallverdu played a year of professional tennis and competed for Team Venezuela in the Davis Cup.

Vallverdu said he loved playing professionally but wanted to try a different level.

“I needed a change in my life, so I decided to come to school, temporarily leaving my professional career behind,” he said. “This move was great, as I was able to continue playing tennis while studying.”

The Venezuelan native joined the University of Miami this year despite being heavily recruited by a number of top universities, including the Georgia Bulldogs, currently the No. 1 team in the nation.

“The other schools were never really in the equation,” Vallverdu said. “Miami was where I wanted to go.”

Thus, a single phone call from Head Coach Mario Rincon and a visit to the campus were enough to seal the deal and have Vallverdu dawn the orange and green.

Since Vallverdu became a Hurricane, he has done nothing but impress his coaches and teammates with his poised play, competitive nature and winning attitude. Despite battling back problems and various illnesses earlier this year, which caused him to retire from two matches, Vallverdu came roaring out of the gate. He posted a 13-5 record in singles play, including a couple of dominating wins over nationally ranked opponents.

This dominating nature has carried over on the doubles court, as Vallverdu has been paired with Luigi D’Agord, who is the No. 5 men’s singles player in the nation. The two are the No. 30 doubles team, posting some wins against ranked opponents.

Vallverdu’s match performances are closely linked to his rigorous practice routines, which include three-and-a-half hour daily practices and hitting the weight room two or three times a week.

“Hard work pays off, in sports and in life,” he said. “Thus, the harder I work before games, the better I will perform during it.”

Vallverdu attributes his success this year to his mental toughness.

“My greatest strength is my head,” he said. “I play smart while on the court, which allows me to control what I am doing.”

Vallverdu said he plans on returning to professional play upon graduating from UM. Until then, he said he wants to establish himself among the college elites and help the Hurricanes win a national championship.

Pravin Patel can be contacted at p.patel7@umiami.edu.

April 11, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

N’Kosi Perry, definitely on the quiet side, met the media for the first time on Monday. He’s the Mia ...

On a day in which University of Miami football coach Mark Richt said veteran quarterbacks Malik Rosi ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

Researchers use a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to show an in ...

UM’s First Star Academy supports foster care youth. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.