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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Five-star recruit Goldman inks letter of intent with tennis

    The outlook for next season is getting brighter for the Arizona men’s tennis team as the squad announced yesterday that five-star recruit Jay Goldman has signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Arizona. The news comes less than a week after the team announced that tour pro Taylor Dent will be joining the staff in the fall.

    After compiling a perfect 27-0 season in 2006, Goldman reached No. 19 nationally, according to tennisrecruits.com. He is also ranked No. 4 nationally based on the tennis Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

    Goldman previously held the Blue Chip distinction (above five-star on tennisrecruits.com) until last year, when a foot injury temporarily kept him off the court. However, because of this distinction Goldman is being touted as one of the biggest American recruits the Wildcats have ever signed.

    “”I met with pretty much all the guys and there was a strong sense of a friendship and there was great camaraderie. I felt that was very important because I’ve seen teams where there’s tension among the players, and that’s not positive.””
    – Jay Goldman,
    tennis signee

    UA head coach Tad Berkowitz said he could not comment due to NCAA rules.

    Arizona first began looking at Goldman two years ago. Goldman, who originally hails from Worcester, Mass., was training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Berkowitz grew up in Florida, and his connections landed him in contact with Goldman.

    Berkowitz stayed in touch over the past couple years until Goldman chose to verbally commit in February and then sign his National Letter of Intent on Friday.

    Among the other schools Goldman considered were Florida, Illinois and Kentucky. But Goldman said he wants the family atmosphere Arizona provided.

    “”I met with pretty much all the guys and there was a strong sense of a friendship and there was great camaraderie,”” he said. “”I felt that was very important because I’ve seen teams where there’s tension among the players, and that’s not positive.

    “”But at the University of Arizona the guys were all very close, and I thought that was excellent.””

    Throughout the past few years, Goldman has been focusing on working his way to the pro tour, and he said he plans to continue this while at Arizona.

    “”I’m going to continue playing (in the future tournaments) throughout the spring and summer before I attend the University of Arizona,”” Goldman said, “”but I definitely have aspirations of playing post-college.

    “”I’ll be in the Pac-10, which is great division, (with) a lot of strong competition. The coaches are definitely great coaches and can point me in the right direction and help me improve upon things that I still need work on. It’ll be a great opportunity to improve.””

    One factor that will be of benefit to Goldman is Arizona’s recent acquisition of Dent. With a pro helping out, Goldman will be able to receive advice on how to achieve his ultimate goal of making the pro tour.

    “”I actually talked to Taylor even before coming to the University of Arizona (while at Bollettieri’s), and he had positive things to say,”” Goldman said. “”It’s exciting, because obviously a guy who has accomplished so much is very important.””

    One expectation of Goldman will be to help the Wildcats improve on this season. Arizona ended the year on an 11-match losing streak to finish 5-17.

    However, despite Arizona’s disappointing season, Goldman said it did not discourage him from his decision.

    “”They had a tough season, but definitely next season we’re going to turn it around,”” he said. “”I’m very optimistic about next year.””

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