April 3, 2013
By Summer Gilhousen, FSU Sports Information
Last year in the spring tennis season of 2012, João Gauer joined the FSU Men's Tennis Team from Parana, Brazil. Leaving his family, home country, and native language was an overwhelming move for the Brazilian, but he quickly adjusted to the independent student-athlete lifestyle.
"The hardest thing for me was being away from my family," said Gauer. "I was always really attached to my parents and to change this was a little rough. The beginning was really a shock and it was really hard. My parents helped me to stay calm and fight through bad times. Once I got used to everything, I actually started to enjoy it a lot. The biggest difference for me is having to do things on my own. Back home I usually have lunch and dinner with my family and I do not have to worry about buying anything or doing laundry. However, this is a great opportunity to grow in every way, work in my tennis, my academics, and especially learn how to live without any help."
In the spring of 2012, Gauer cheered on his team from the side as he was a redshirt. Gauer took advantage of this to adjust living here. He states, "Redshirting last year was definitely a good thing for me. My English was not good enough and I was scared of struggling with school and not handling school and tennis at the same time. Having the extra time to see how things work and adapt to school was really good."
Although he did not play matches, Gauer practiced every day with the team and worked just as hard as the rest of the guys. When fall of 2012 approached, the redshirt freshman was determined to prove his capabilities. In the first tournament of the season, the Bedford Cup in Gainesville, Gauer defeated the No. 105 player in the nation in his first match for the Seminoles.
When looking back on that match, Gauer reveals, "It felt really good winning my first match. The coaches had never really seen me play before that, so I guess I showed them what I am capable to do and showed myself that I can go through obstacles."
In that same tournament, Gauer also proved his doubles capabilities with partner Cristian Gonzalez Mendez as they reached the semifinals, falling to their fellow teammates. About a month later, the duo again reached the doubles semifinals of the Garnet Draw at the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney.
"Cristian and I have a really good chemistry playing together and I think that our energy can take us very far in any competition," claims Gauer. "Unfortunately we had to play against our teammates Benjamin (Lock) and Andres (Bucaro), but still it was a good test for Cristian and I and a good incentive to work harder and make a great doubles run next season."
Although the redshirt freshman has had limited playing time this season, he holds a winning singles record of 6-5 and a winning doubles record of 9-4.
In reference to his few minutes on the court, Gauer positively states, "This motivates me to work harder and show that I can win many matches. I feel like our team is really deep which makes the lineup really competitive and our team even stronger. I am seeking to improve to help the team even more."
With season only two months from closing out, Gauer proudly asserts, "We are capable of making the final site and making a good run at the NCAA tournament. Our team is deep and united; we are in a good position to succeed."