Sports

TENNIS PROFILE: Siblings form bonds outside of sport

Their names are Daniel and Laura. They are both All-Americans, and they, respectively, play the No. 1 spot for the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Despite their great individual abilities and accomplishments, to friends and the tennis world they are simply known as “the Vallverdus.”

“I think it’s because we are always together and always get along. It’s kind of cool, actually,” Laura said.

This is something so seemingly simple, yet it is greatly telling of the relationship these siblings have beyond tennis.

“We are very close,” Daniel said about his relationship with his sister. “We are really good to each other. We live together and we share everything with each other. Living with her, away from home, makes things a lot easier for me.

“Being siblings and because of tennis, she understands me better than anyone else. I can tell her anything. I can turn to her for anything.”

This relationship is not simply a product of being together at the University of Miami. The siblings have been close since childhood, and it is that closeness that has made them such a dynamic duo.

“We always went everywhere together. We went to the same school. We went to the same club to play sports. We practiced tennis together,” Laura recalled. “He is my older brother, so he was very protective. It was annoying at times, but when I needed him, he was always there for me.”

A major facet of their relationship revolves around their mutual love for tennis. It was something they both grew up with and have in common.

“Even without tennis, I know we would be close, but because of it, I feel we understand each other better,” Daniel said.

As the two got older, their love for tennis grew. Although they were not playing against each other anymore, they were still competing, and they had become a handful for opposing players. Thus, it was almost a no-brainer that the two would play at the collegiate level.

Daniel was first to arrive on the scene as a Hurricane. He came to Coral Gables a semester before Laura. He loved the city of Miami, the weather and the coaching staff at UM.

Coming to Miami was an easy choice for him. For Laura, though, the decision to attend UM was not quite as easy.

“I always wanted to come to UM, but there was no scholarship, so I looked at nearby schools. But then in February or March, I got a call from [head coach]Paige [Yaroshuk-Tews]. A scholarship had opened up. I said yes right away. It was like a gift from God.”

At first glance, it is easy to simply acknowledge the siblings’ tennis skills.

But the Vallverdus said by relying on each other they have learned more about themselves and the sport.

“She has taught me a lot, about tennis and life,” Daniel said. “She has taught me to open up as a person.”

Laura said her brother’s influence has impacted her life in various aspects.

“He has taught me to be calmer and more patient,” Laura stated. “He has taught me to not always show my emotions, on and off the court.”

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

Laura Vallverdu

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela
ITA Singles Ranking: 19
Awards: 2007 All-American

Daniel Vallverdu

Class: Junior
Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela
ITA Singles Ranking: 3
Awards: 2006 ACC, Freshman of the Year, 2006 All-American, 2007 All-American

April 24, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The season-opening, three-day Miami Fall Invite wrapped up Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center a ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.