May 9, 2000
TALAHASSEE, Fla. - For the Florida State men's tennis team, the 1999-2000 season was one of new beginnings as a pair of new coaches took the reins and added four new faces to the program. The Seminoles experienced a baptism by fire this year winning seven of nine "4-3" matches and eight of their 10 losses came against opponents ranked in the top 40. The program saw two players reach national rankings and the team defeated five ranked opponents. The Seminoles defeated Maryland, Wake Forest, N.C. State and Georgia Tech on their way to a 4-4 record in the ACC.
One of the highlights of the 1999-2000 campaign was the play of Xavier Luscan. The sophomore provided a boost to the 49th-ranked Florida State men's tennis team all season long. Luscan, who hails from Paris, France, instilled an aura of discipline, hard work, and dedication throughout the team. This sophomore transfer from UCLA gives everything he has when he walks onto the court and tests his limits every time he walks on the court. In the 2000 spring dual match season, Luscan stepped onto the court 23 times for FSU and walked off victorious in 15 matches, three of those wins came against ranked opponents.
From Paris to Florida State
Even though he enjoyed a multitude of sports, Luscan found his true love in tennis. His success began when he advanced to the quarterfinals in the Orange Bowl Tournament in Miami and recorded victories over players ranked in the top 300 of the world. After losing to the No. 5 junior player in the quarterfinals, Luscan decided he wanted to face a new challenge in the United States. With his parents support, Xavier decided to pursue an athletic and academic career in America.
Luscan's family completely backed him since the U.S. provides athletes with a better opportunity to combine a quality education with exceptional athletic competition. Despite their strong support, Luscan felt extreme pressure from his loved ones to succeed. Luscan's brother and two sisters were not bestowed with his exceptional athletic ability, therefore, he felt burdened with an obligation to succeed. He followed his longtime coach and family friend of 10 years to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he pursued an education and athletic success. Luscan declined several full scholarship offers from Kansas, Auburn, Mississippi State and North Carolina to be with his mentor and train at UCLA.
The Inaugural Season
Luscan also got a great deal of satisfaction out of his doubles experience this season. He spent most of the season paired with freshman Rodrigo Laub and the two made strides together on and off the court as the season progressed. The 1999-2000 season is Laub's inaugural one as well. Originally from Brazil, Laub now calls Atlanta, Georgia home and is pursuing a business career while becoming one of the teams brightest newcomers. The duo not only share the court but they also share the rent and the utility bill.
The roommates are continually gaining confidence in one another. Doubles partners generally play better when they share a similar work ethic and state of mind and this seems to be the case with Luscan and Laub. The freshman has bonded with Luscan in ways that enhance their doubles play beyond ordinary partners. As a result of their close relationship, they do not shy away from honest communication on the court. Mutual feedback is necessary as they face challenges during the season. Both feel that they need to improve as a team if they want to excel at this level.
Tennis as a Teacher
Luscan is hoping he will be playing professional tennis 5-10 years from now but he is using his opportunity at Florida State to prepare for any eventuality. If Luscan ascends to the top 10 and he is able to maintain consistent success, he will take a shot at the professional tennis tour. If not, he will use his education to pursue a business career.
Luscan's experience with tournament competition at Florida State has ignited a desire to create a tournament of his own as a part of his business career. He is interested in fundraising, sponsorship, and communication, all aspects that Luscan hopes to one day utilize in a successful business of his own.
Luscan is just one of Florida State's student-athletes that is chasing a dream and finding success on the playing field and in the classroom. He is a rising star and should give Seminole fans a reason to be proud of their school for years to come.