Men’s tennis welcomes new player, Vuk Vuckovic

By Elohino Theodore, Senior Reporter

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EWU’s men’s tennis team will be adding top-ten nationally ranked Serbian player, Vuk Vuckovic to their roster for the 2015 spring season.

Vuckovic is from Belgrade, Serbia, where he received numerous accolades and honors.

“I have some pretty reliable sources that have seen [Vuckovic] play,” said men’s tennis coach Steve Clark. “I’m not going to put pressure on him by saying where he should be in the lineup. He should be able to contribute significantly to the team.”

Vuckovic has won national championships in 14-and-under, 16-and-under and 18-and-under competitions. As a tennis player, Vuckovic has placed in the top five in 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 18-and-under competitions.

“I have been training for 11 years,” said Vuckovic. “I have won many tournaments and I was within top five tennis junior players in my country. I think that I will be a good addition to the team’s game.”

Vuckovic will be with the team on Jan.10 when men’s tennis will compete at the University of Oregon.

“There’s meetings he has to go through and he’s got to get all of that kind of situated,” said Clark.

In 2012, Vuckovic was nationally ranked as No. 2 and by the end of the season, he was No. 4. In 2013, Vuckovic had another top national rank as No. 5. He ended up finishing the 2013 season as as No. 9. In 2014, he was ranked as No. 8 with wins against top-ranked Association of Tennis Professionals and International Tennis Federation players.

“He’s more of an all-court player; he feels really comfortable with volleys,” said Clark. “A lot of times, you recruit players and then it remains to be seen what they do at a certain level. I expect him to contribute in singles and doubles and to be fairly high up in the lineup.”

Vuckovic also talked about what he has to offer for EWU tennis. “My strengths in tennis are my service and my physical and mental condition,” said Vuckovic. He said he is really looking forward to meeting all of his teammates and is looking forward to the college experience.

As a student, he will be majoring in Business and Management. In an interview with goeags.com, Vuckovic said, “I think that Eastern Washington University has a great tennis team and there are good conditions for tennis so I can improve my career.”

Clark said discovering Vuckovic was a fairly simple process while recruiting.

“I get emails daily with videos of players from around the world or even in the country,” said Clark. “So you have different ways that you recruit people.”

Clark said a source close to him made him aware of Vuckovic’s talent.

“Basically, I was talking to a friend of mine, and I said ‘Hey, man, I’m looking for player,’” said Clark. “This guy is pretty high up, he kind of knows a lot about tennis, and he said ‘Well, there’s a guy I know in Serbia,’ so that’s how we connected.”

This offer is giving Vuckovic an opportunity that he would not get in Serbia. “You either have to play [professionally] or you do academics in other countries, there’s no combo,” said Clark. “It’s not something where you can combine the two.” Vuckovic can now do both while attending Eastern.

From talking with Vuckovic on the phone, Clark gave his views on his first impression.

“He’s very responsible and proactive,” said Clark. “He knows kind of what he wants to do.”

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