Sept. 28, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - After getting his feet wet in collegiate tennis last season, Florida Atlantic University men’s tennis player Robert Dubuque is ready to showcase those lessons learned into a strong sophomore season.
“I learned to make the transition from junior tennis to the expectations of the college level,” said Dubuque, a sophomore exercise science major from Melbourne, Fla. “I have trained harder so that I can pull out matches that I might have lost last year.”
Dubuque was among seven first-time Owls on last year’s roster. He made his biggest contribution in doubles, teaming with fellow sophomore Chris Janssen in 2012 to have a 7-4 record at the No. 2 doubles position. The duo picked up a victory to help the Owls earn a doubles point in the first round of last year’s Sun Belt Conference Championships.
“At the end of last season, Chris and I were on the same page when it came to strategy prior to each point,” noted Dubuque. “Playing doubles is exciting. Having someone else on the court helps get the competitive juices going in a match. Doubles is high-intensity part of the sport.”
The Owls continued the fall season participating in the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational in Fort Myers from September 28-30. Dubuque is hoping to help the team become a competitive force in the Southeast region and SBC.
“We want to be ranked as a team this spring and win conference,” he said during a recent interview. “We battled nationally ranked teams last year. That revealed that we could compete and beat high-quality opponents.”
As the team’s only left-handed player, Dubuque provides different spins and shot angles to opposing players, which can be an advantage, especially in doubles matches. “Most long rallies within a point happen when both players hit the ball cross court,” noted Dubuque. “A cross-court shot from my forehand goes towards a right-handed person’s backhand. When that happens, I’m confident that I’m going to win those points.”
He is also confident that the younger FAU players have developed a strong chemistry that will lead the team throughout the fall and spring seasons. “A majority of this year’s players came to FAU at the same time. We really care about each other and make an effort to spend time on and off the court with each other,” said Dubuque.