Sept. 18, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Alex Herrera and the Seminole men's tennis team opens its fall season this weekend as it plays host to the Seminole Classic at the Speicher Tennis Center. Herrera, who is entering his junior season at Florida State, sat down with seminoles.com to discuss his goals for the 2002-03 season, his lifelong influences and how he prepares for a match.
Who has been your biggest tennis influence? I would have to say my father. Growing up in a small town there wasn't much tennis and not too much to do, so if it wasn't for my father I probably would have never played tennis. I would definitely have to say my father.
What are your personal goals going into the 2002-2003 tennis season? I would like to get ranked in singles and doubles this year. I think that's attainable as long as I come out here and work hard. We have a strong team this year and hopefully a realistic goal is for us as a team is to be ranked in the top 20.
This year's team is the stongest Florida State has had since you have been here. How does this team differ from teams your first two years at FSU? For one thing, we are all about the same age and we all get along very well. Team unity is one of the biggest things for a team to be successful and I see that in this team so far. We are all working hard so far, definitely more so than since I have been here, so I think with our talent we can do well.
Is there a particular match that the team looks forward to more than any other and why? It's always Florida and this year won't be any different. The past few years they've been ranked in the top 15 when we have played them so that makes it a big match. We have come close to winning the past two years, losing 4-3 and 5-2 last year, so it is definitely our biggest match.
What do you do to prepare for a match? Are there any routines that you do before every match? I always try to get a good night's sleep the night before. The few days before a match I try and make sure I am practicing hard and get my confidence up.
What is your favorite fall tournament to play in? The match (Seminole Classic) coming up this weekend is probably the biggest one. It's not necessarily the biggest one, but probably the most exciting. It's at home and this year's field is the toughest field ever as far as I remember. There are good players that will be here, so if you do well then there is a good chance you can get ranked coming out of this weekend.