Photograph courtesy of ETSU Athletics

Photograph courtesy of ETSU Athletics

Robert Herrera, a sophomore marketing major, is already making a name for himself in ETSU’s tennis program.

In his short time of playing tennis, Herrera has already playing professionally. He has also defeated a No. 5­ ranked Georgia Bulldogs team in doubles.

If given the opportunity, Herrera cites Roger Federer as the tennis professional he would like to play.

“He’s the best in history,” Herrera said.

Herrera is from Barcelona, Spain, where he started played tennis at 16 years old.

“What made me start playing tennis was my grandfather,” Herrera said. “He used to play with me all the time.”

This being his sophomore year, Herrera has already made big goals coming off a good start to his collegiate career.

“I wish to win the conference and to win all my matches,” said Herrera.

Last season, Herrera won eight singles matches. In his four other matches, he finished fifth and sixth.  

“I set goals by working hard and trying to be focused all the time,” Herrera said. “[That] is what I want.”

Now having a year of experience, Herrera knows the ins­-and­-outs of how to eat right.

“It’s not like a boxer,” Herrera said. “I don’t have to be a specific weight class. I just have to maintain.”

“He has a see food diet,” said ETSU tennis coach Yaser Zaatini jokingly.

Though Herrera has only played tennis for a few years, he is already an accomplished player.

“My favorite accomplishment has to be winning the championship of Spain,” Herrera said.

Besides tennis, Herrera can also play soccer.

“I didn’t know which sport I would play, [but] I decided tennis because my grandfather was so fond of it,” said Herrera. “My grandfather was the reason I got into it.”

After he graduates, Herrera hopes to become a professional tennis player.

Herrera has a lot to be excited about this tennis season. He has his mind set on what he wants to accomplish, not only for himself but also for the team and the university.

Last year, ETSU’s tennis team finished first in the Southern Conference.

This season, the veteran-­based team is prepared for the expectations that come with last season’s success.