Summer Update: Women's Tennis - Five Questions With Coach Srouji

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University Athletic Media Relations recently caught up with women's  tennis  head coach Mark Srouji  for a segment called 'Five Questions.'

Srouji, a 1998 Belmont graduate, begins his 14th season leading the women's tennis program.  During his tenure, the Bruins have been successful both on the court and in the classroom.  Belmont tennis players have earned All-Atlantic Sun honors 16 times, while 10 student-athletes have been named ITA Scholar-Athletes
 
A myriad of topics were discussed, including reflection on last year's team, a preview of next year's squad, and his thoughts on the just completed Wimbledon Championships.

 

Q: You ended your season on a three-match winning streak, what can you take from the success of at the end of last spring and utilize in preparation for the upcoming season? 

A: Our late season success really brought our returning players together as a group and we became better as a team.  I think that cohesiveness will be a big asset for us as we begin the 2011-12 season.

 

Q: Going into the summer break, what were the areas that you wanted your team to work on?

A: We need to get stronger, faster and improve our overall fitness.  When we started A-Sun play last spring, I noticed that we could equal our opponents' tennis abilities, but we were one step behind them in terms of fitness.  I stressed to our team that summer conditioning was the key to getting better in that area.

 

Q: Belmont will be moving to the Ohio Valley Conference in 2012.  How will the change in conference affiliation impact your program?

A: I think the biggest impact will be the fact that many of the schools are nearby.  Because of this closeness, I believe we will be able to build some rivalries with schools like Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State, and Murray State.

 

Q: You are now starting your 14th year at Belmont, what are the biggest changes you have seen in collegiate tennis?

A: I think the big change is the amount of talent playing collegiate tennis right now.  When I first started coaching, most teams had three good players.  Now, teams have five or six good players, so teams are so much deeper.

 

Q: A non-Belmont question… Wimbledon just ended with the crowning of two new champions.  Do you have any thoughts on Novak Djokovic or Petra Kvitova?

A: I was so impressed with both players.  I think both Djokovic and Kitova are not only great tennis players, but great athletes.  They have great speed and flexibility around the court.  I think they would be successful in many other sports in addition to tennis."