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Men’s Tennis: Moros finds success through consistency

Peter Steiner | Monday, February 4, 2013

Of all the cheers during Sunday’s match against No. 5 Duke, the loudest were for Irish senior Blas Moros. The cheers were coming from a large cohort of fans at the Eck Pavilion who were there to root for the Irish, but especially for the co-captain playing No. 2 singles.

Although Moros lost his match to No. 23 Blue Devils junior Fred Saba and the Irish dropped the match 4-0, the senior said there were still positives to take away from the defeat.

“It’s tough losing tight matches, but at the same time there’s something to get from them knowing that you’re right in there with a top-five team like Duke,” Moros said. “I think we can take a lot of confidence from these matches.”

Confidence has always been an important aspect of Moros’ tennis game, especially since the senior made the jump to No. 2 singles earlier this fall season. His confidence coupled with three prior years of singles experience in the Irish lineup – the majority at No. 5 and No. 6 singles – has certainly helped the senior this year.

“I think a big part of [playing No. 2 singles] is experience, knowing what to expect and the match experience,” the Boca Raton, Fla., native said. “And then confidence, putting in the work during the summer, and knowing that there aren’t many people in the country that have worked as hard as I have and then having that belief going into matches.”

This mindset worked well in the fall season, as Moros finished with a perfect 10-0 record in singles. In addition, Moros was named to three all-tournament teams and won the Tom Fallon Invitational MVP on the weekend of Oct. 6, 2012.

“I was really happy with my fall season,” Moros said. “I think part of it was what I was able to do over the summer. Even though I had an internship, I was still able to stay in really good shape and work on a couple of key aspects of my game that I knew needed improvement from last year to this year if I wanted to keep playing high in the singles lineup.”

Unlike some of his teammates, Moros does not have a big serve or come to the net as often as others. Instead, the senior utilizes consistent ground strokes and mental toughness to take down his opponents.

“I kind of consider myself an aggressive baseliner,” Moros said. “I don’t have a huge serve like a lot of guys higher up on the team do, but I am very gritty, mentally tough and I don’t give away too many errors. Consistency and an all-around game are my biggest attributes.”

Besides playing No. 2 singles, the lone senior in the typical singles lineup has taken on the role of the vocal leader of a young Irish roster.

“Even though [junior co-captain Greg Andrews and I] both have some aspects of leader by example and vocal leader, I’ve tended to be more of the vocal leader,” Moros said. “I tend to be the one who organizes all the events and talks to the guys and makes sure all the guys are doing everything necessary.”

Although his tennis career is not yet over, the senior recognizes that his tennis career at Notre Dame has already been remarkable.

“It’s been an incredible four years,” Moros said. “I’m kind of sad that it’s coming to an end somewhat. I think I’ve taken a lot of big steps with my tennis.”

Despite the success thus far in his senior year, Moros will face many challenges this coming spring season, mostly in the form of top-ranked opponents at the No. 2 singles position. The Irish will face off against No. 2 USC, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 9 Kentucky in the next two months.

“Week in, week out, regardless of which team you’re playing, in the higher lineup positions, you are going to be playing a good player,” Moros said. “That’s part of what’s great and it’s also a challenge.”

Although the Irish have a difficult schedule this spring, Moros will certainly have the support of his team and all his Irish fans behind him the whole way.

Contact Peter Steiner at psteiner@nd.edu