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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Athlete of the Week

    Petter Zimmerman
    Petter Zimmerman

    Editor’s Note: The Wildcat caught up with men’s tennis sophomore Peter Zimmer to discuss his recent run of solid play – as he advanced to the semifinals of the Flight A singles draw at the Balloon Fiesta Classic last week after winning three pre-qualifying matches at the All-American Championships the week before – as well as what’s different about this year’s squad and drinking coffee.

    Wildcat: You’ve had two good outings in the last two tournaments – one at the All-Americans and one at the Balloon Fiesta Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. What do you think is different in your play from last season?

    Zimmer: I think the biggest difference is my ability to compete throughout a whole match rather than just parts at set times throughout a match. Sometimes last season I felt like I would “”check out”” at different times during a match, but this time I feel like I was able to stay in the match the whole time, so I had better court presence, better mental toughness.

    W: What was it like to play in the All-Americans for the first time in your college career?

    Z: It was really, really cool. It’s such a big, cool tournament. You’re surrounded by other good players, so it just brings out the best in you. But it’s just a really cool environment.

    W: This will be your third year as a part of Arizona tennis. What do you think is different about this year’s team?

    Z: We’re a lot younger. It’s our coach’s second year of coaching, though, so

    It’s kind of up in the air what our team will even look like, but I think that we definitely have potential to improve

    – Peter Zimmer,

    he’s got a year under his belt of like how he knows how the team will do throughout the year. He’s more experienced. We’re just young, but we should get some new guys in January.

    W: Who do you think will step up as a leader since Roger (Matalonga) left last year?

    Z: There already are some guys that have, if Daniel (Andrus) is able to come back – we’re not sure about him. If he is, then he’ll be in that leadership role because he’ll be the oldest. (Junior) Claudio (Christen), he has and will be one of the “”captainlike”” guys, so (he) definitely has and will continue to be a good leader for us. I think (he is) that kind of person.

    W: What do you think this team is capable of doing this season?

    Z: It’s hard to say right now exactly what we are capable of just because there’s still some more time left in the fall … for guys to develop and (to see) which guys actually end up coming in January. It’s kind of up in the air what our team will even look like, but I think that we definitely have potential to improve from where we left off last year. We can finish higher than we did. We can rank in the 30s or higher (in the nation).

    W: What is it like playing for (UA head coach) Tad Berkowitz and (assistant coach) Tom Lloyd?

    Z: It’s awesome. I really like it. They’re both such great guys, and having Tom is, I feel, a noticeable help to the team. I think he is a great coach. It’s kind of nice having two young guys that have been there recently and have had a lot of experience around a lot of different levels of tennis themselves. So they’re kind of right there with us.

    W: What is different about Berkowitz’s coaching style compared to former head coach Bill Wright?

    Z: Tad is just a lot more organized, a lot more vision-oriented. Tad sees where we need to develop as a team and what we need to get better at. Everything is geared toward getting to that point, so it’s a lot more cohesive. It’s a lot more modern as far as he just uses a lot of good point situations, live-ball drills, not as much sitting around feeding.

    W: Did you grow up in Tucson?

    Z: Yeah.

    W: Did you always know you were going to go to Arizona?

    Z: Not always, but I was pretty sure that it was always a good option. I never didn’t like the idea of it, but I thought about maybe going somewhere else. But not for long, I’m definitely happy here.

    W: Have you ever been called a “”T-loc?””

    Z: (Laughs.) Yeah.

    W: One of your main goals as a team this year is to stay in shape, right?

    Z: Definitely this year, that’s an improvement that Tad’s really trying to get out of us, better stamina and fitness overall.

    W: So, you’re supposed to eat right? Any “”unhealthy”” foods that you have to have?

    Z: Well, I definitely drink coffee quite a bit. I don’t know if that’s – I don’t know – some people say it’s less healthy than it is.

    – Interview by Melissa


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