“I love the multifaceted nature of tennis. The combination of strategy and mental endurance with the physical strength needed to conquer opponents makes tennis the greatest sport in my eyes.”
These are the words of Rohan Mathur, captain of the Brooklyn College men’s tennis team and third year student at Brooklyn College. Mathur’s life has been one defined by overcoming obstacles and adversity. He explained that he has been obese for much of his life, and that has made him smart about how he conserves his energy on the tennis court.
As captain of the team for the second straight year, Rohan must not only concern himself with his own play, but also the play and morale of his entire team.
“During warmups as well as in the middle of matches, I try to make sure everyone is only concerned with winning their matches in the most efficient way and using their strengths and opponents’ weaknesses to their advantages,” said Mathur. “I never let the losses be anything more than a learning experience for all of us and make sure our practices following the loss only reflect our mistakes and how they can be improved upon.”
Mathur grew up in Dix Hills, New York, on Long Island. He started playing tennis around age 10, and more competitively at age 14. He is currently a communications major and also in the B.A./M.D. program at Brooklyn College, where tennis has helped him out in his academic pursuits.
“Honestly, tennis makes studying a lot easier for me because it forces me to manage my time around practices and matches and avoid procrastination. My parents have ingrained in me the importance of education, so I make sure to maintain a balance between my schoolwork and the sport that I love,” said Mathur.
Mathur explained to the Vanguard that playing tennis at Brooklyn College has been a great privilege, and that working with coach David Wallis and the staff “has made competing to represent my school one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had here.”
But being a scholar-athlete has not been all smooth sailing for Mathur at Brooklyn College. This past fall and moving into Winter, he experienced a major setback. Rohan felt discomfort in both of his wrists while working out, but dismissed the pain and tried to work through it. In January, when the pain did not subside, he went to get an MRI.
“Results showed that I have partial TFCC tears in each of my wrists, which means that I must rest both my hands and not play any tennis or work out for at least 6-8 weeks. I have done nothing but rest them in addition to wearing wrist braces and icing my wrists, but I’m quite anxious to get back out on the court and into the swing of things,” expressed Mathur.
Mathur told the Vanguard that he plays with a big serve and implements a large number of drop shots, slices, and other maneuvers that can change the pace of a match and keep his opponent out of their comfort zone. He also explained that he does not have a favorite professional tennis player, but he has always been a fan of the underdogs.
“I always have high expectations for our team because I know with everyone’s varied skill sets, there is great potential for us to succeed in the conference playoffs,” Mathur said. “Considering how we lost by merely a few points in the semifinals last year, I’m hoping that once I recover from my injuries, our teams can make a deeper run and have a better record than in past seasons.”
The Brooklyn College men’s tennis team’s season begins on March 12, with a home match against Purchase College.