Jan. 16, 2014
By Summer Gilhousen, FSU Sports Information
The fourth member to join FSU Men's Tennis Team this year is Jose Gracia. Born in San Juan del Rio, Mexico but raised in Delray Beach, Fla., Gracia partially adds to the team's international assortment.
Hitting tennis balls since the age of three and dedicating seriously to tennis at the age of six, it is only natural the 18-year-old joins Florida State with an impressive tennis record.
Having won tournaments, such as the NCTC Designated Boys 18 and a USTA Regional Tournament, Gracia was ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in Florida. "Being No. 1 in Florida is my greatest accomplishment yet," said the freshman. "I got to the top in only five months after being out for two years due to an injury."
It is this successful recovery from injury that entices Gracia to admire the world-ranked No. 5 pro tennis player Juan Martin del Potro.
"Del Potro is my favorite tennis player because he came back strong from his surgery and is currently one of the best players," said Gracia.
On his own journey to becoming one of the best, Gracia chose FSU as the next step to get him there.
The 6'6" Seminole stated, "I chose FSU because it is the perfect fit athletic and academic wise. It gets stressful to balance the two, but my team, coaches and the FSU staff makes this whole student-athlete experience possible and enjoyable."
In his first semester - fall 2013 - playing for the team, Gracia posted a 5-4 singles record and a 4-3 doubles record; even reaching the quarterfinals in the Bedford Cup. In last weekend's season opener, the freshman posted a winning 3-0 singles record, which included defeating South Alabama's Juan Troglia with an injured foot.
The final freshman to join this well-rounded team is Grayson Goldin from Bradenton, Fla. Grayson is the son of Heather Goldin and Robin Goldin- a football alumnus of Augustana College.
"My role model is my dad because he is always pushing me to get better at anything I do," explains Goldin. "I have always looked up to him because he strived to be the best in everything he did, and I do the same."
As another player to start young, Goldin began playing tennis at the age of four. "I chose tennis because it was a natural talent for me and I love the joy of winning," stated the 18 year old.
Of his many joyous winning moments, including winning the Gator Bowl and winning a gold ball in singles and doubles at the Spring National Championship, Goldin enjoys the most where all of his wins led him- to being nationally ranked in the top 10 of every age division.
"Moving up to the collegiate level, I chose FSU because I knew the coaches and the team very well," said the freshman. "I actually grew up with the other four freshmen, which made my decision easier because I knew we would all be a perfect fit."
Goldin's goals for his time here at FSU are to be an All-American and reach at least the semifinals of the NCAA Championships within all four of his collegiate years. After posting a winning 8-3 singles record, and reaching the singles and doubles semifinals of the Bedford Cup this past fall, Goldin is already on a promising path to achieving his goals.
"After graduating from FSU, I plan to play professionally for four years and give it all I have. If it goes well, I will continue to make tennis my career."