Q & Ace with Victor Mauz
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - They are stories of perseverance. Stories about growing up, becoming men and being a part of a family. One-by-one, we hear from them. These are the Miami Hurricanes...
My father was a really good tennis player, but when I was younger he wanted me to try other sports. I tried swimming, soccer and basketball, and a bunch of other stuff. I got to tennis late, around 8 or 9 years old. My dad was my first coach, and I enjoyed it a lot.
Living in Europe you don’t know a lot about college sports, college tennis in particular. Some friends suggested I contact the coaches. When I called coach Rincon, and although I never met him before coming here, everything was good between us, and I had a good feeling about coming here. And Miami is a great city. I had the opportunity to go to other schools, but between Coach Rincon and the city I wanted to come here.
When I was younger I looked up to Roger Federer. I was crazy about him. I wanted to play just like him, and I followed all of his records and matches. Now it’s not so much about that, it’s more about who I like to watch play. I also admire Muhammad Ali, because of his perseverance and talent, and the fact that he stood by his beliefs.
If I could go back in time in my life, I would go back to my last year in high school. I was in a special class with only sportsmen and artists. It was one of the best years of my life; we were together all the time. In history I would go to the cowboy and Indian period. I read a lot about that, and I would love to see it.
If I won $20 million I would give a lot to my friends and family. And I would probably buy a boat for a summer and take all of my friends and family on vacation.
Tennis has given me unity and perseverance. You have success and failures every day. Every time you miss it’s a frustration and every time you do something good, you’re happy, but then you have to come back and start again. That is what is so tough, but that is what has made me learn the most about life.
My dream job is to be a tennis player. Also, a DJ or a singer must be pretty cool, I can imagine. But tennis has always been my dream job.
For the rest of the season I want to make the NCAA tournament. We have been really close to win against top 20 teams already, but we haven’t been able to do so from now. There are three regular season matches left and then the ACC champ, so we have to knock down at least one top 15 or top 20 team to win. This is the goal for everybody on the team.
I have superstitions before I play all the time, but it always changes. It’s ridiculous stuff. If I have my running sneakers on before a match and then I win, I keep doing it until I lose. Then, when I lose, I change it. Also, in the court I never walk on the line. I also have a weird thing about the balls. When I serve I choose the ball for the first two points of the game I keep the same order of the balls, and then I change the ball for the third point.
Most people don’t know that I know how to play the guitar. Henrique and I play together sometimes. I brought mine from France and he just bought one, so we like doing this. I wish I could sing, but I can’t!
Everything makes me laugh. Diego on the team makes me laugh a lot, we have the same sense of humor. Also, there’s some really French stuff that makes me laugh. I have a friend from back home here that I’ve known all my life. We have a lot of fun making jokes together around campus.
If I could have any superpower I would fly.
One word to describe my team is “friendship.” We are all friends; we get along really well.
In the next 10 years I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be. I don’t like to predict things. I might be here; I might be back at home. I could go wherever.
After a stressful practice I like to go back to my apartment and chill out, take a nap or see some friends. I like to see friends, especially after matches, because it helps me think about something else other than tennis.
College sports here are so much more important than back home. Everyone has loyalty to UM. Everyone here belongs to the same group. They support UM no matter what; it’s a unity thing and I like that. Every time we travel people say “Oh, you’re from UM! What team are you on?” We don’t even have a campus back at home. A school with 5 thousand students is huge. The facilities and installations are amazing. It’s beautiful. In France it’s so small.
One of the things I miss the most about France is the food. It’s so hard to find here. There are some restaurants here that serve it, but they’re expensive. It’s tough to find a good restaurant here coming from France. I don’t even have a favorite French food. I love them all!
The artist that gets me pumped up when I’m training is Eminem. People in France love listening to him.
My biggest pet peeve is when you ask someone a question in their native language and they answer using half English and half their native language. I get it, you can speak English! It really bugs me sometimes.
I jump really high, so every time I’m in practice or a match and there’s a ball that is really high, he screams “GET UP THERE!” It really pumps me up.