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