Mixed electronic dance music is often heard during the University of Nebraska at Omaha men’s tennis practices. Razvan Grigorescu, a freshman on the UNO men’s tennis team, is the team’s DJ.
Grigorescu was born in Constanta, Romania and has introduced Romanian music to the team. He makes his own mash-ups of songs to pump up the crew. UNO tennis coach Tyson Thomas is all for the freshman bringing some culture to his practices.
“Razvan has seriously upped our practice music and warm-up music,” Thomas said.
Along with energizing the team, Grigorescu has brought notoriety to the tennis program. He is ranked as the 52nd best singles player in the country and won Summit League Player of the Week on Jan. 24 and Feb. 7.
Grigorescu said he is trying not to focus on the awards and instead use the self-esteem boost to improve his playing. “It makes me feel good in the moment,” Grigorescu said. “I’m trying to keep it in mind, but not focus on it too much.”
Thomas said his Romanian fresh-man is exceeding expectations. Grigorescu has improved his poise under pressure and his shot selection. However, Thomas said he wants to keep pushing the team to master their skills.
“As a team and as individuals we have set goals, so we still have a long way to go,” Thomas said. “Awards are a nice affirmation that we are heading in the right direction, but they are just a step along the way.”
The head coach also mentioned that international athletes have improved the UNO sports programs because the school is able to search for talent around the world and the athletes learn about diversity and other cultures.
“If you look in the U.S., tennis might be the seventh or eighth most popular sport,” Thomas said. “If you look around the world, it might be second or third. So what happens is you get some of these incredible athletes who, instead of shifting to American football or basketball here in the U.S., play tennis. It really gives the team a nice improvement.”
Grigorescu said he enjoys UNO because the program helps him focus on tennis and he finds himself less distracted.
Grigorescu is majoring in business, but hopes to play professional tennis when he graduates. His number one goal is to win the NCAA championship in college. Thomas is excited to see Grigorescu and his teammates meet their goals. The UNO men’s tennis team has great potential.
“On a team scale, we play a lot of freshmen and sophomores in our line ups,” Thomas said. “The team as a whole is getting a feel for college, and it’s going to be interesting to see how far this talent can really shoot up. I don’t even know how high our potential is right now. It will be fun to see what we are capable of doing throughout this year.”
Thomas said he credits this year’s success to the support each athlete shows one another.
“Rasvan, along with one or two of the other freshman have significantly increased our vocal leadership when we are out there competing,” Thomas said. “They get pumped up on our own courts as well as cheer on the other guys. We’ve moved into a whole other level in terms of how well the guys support one another, and I think that’s played a big role in the success that we’ve had.