Oct. 19, 2006
Tennis is a game of endurance, will and intelligence. Sophomore Rudolf Siwy is a perfect example of these three qualities when he serves it up for the Fresno State men's tennis team. Siwy has embraced such strong characteristics through the inspiration of his fellow countryman - Martin Koukal.
Koukal is a cross-country skier from the Czech Republic who won the gold medal at the International Ski Federation's Nordic World Championships in 2003 in Italy. He captured the title in the most difficult race - a 50-kilometer free style competition.
"Nobody expected him to win," Siwy said. "He is my idol. He works so hard and what I admire most is his will to win!"
This weekend the Bulldogs head to Stanford for the annual International Tennis Association's Fall Regional Championships. It will be Siwy's first opportunity to participate in the prestigious event.
In a recent Question and Answer session with gobulldogs.com, Siwy tells us more about himself:
What are some of your favorite athletics moments?
Martin Koukal victory at the 2003 Winter World Championships
Handball matches: I have seven friends with whom I played handball in school. We were a very close-knit group and we supported one another. I loved playing every single match and those moments remain as some of my favorites.
Reaching semifinals at the Czech Republic Championships in 2003: I wasn't seeded at the tournament and I my chances to win the bronze medal were slim, according to others. However, I wanted to get to the semifinals badly. I would dream every night about advancing, and I made it.
Fresno State's 4-3 victory at Oregon (Feb. 26, 2006): For the first time I realized how awesome it was to be part of the team and it really reminded me of my handball teams. We won 4-3 and Jakub Cech won his match 7-6, saving three match points. I loved it and I am thankful for that moment.
What countries have you been to other than the Czech Republic and the U.S.?
Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy
Which of these was your favorite?
Italy. I was visiting some friends there and I found the Italians to be very happy and very friendly. I like their lifestyle and I fell in love with Italian cuisine.
Do you cook?
Yes. I like to cook and bake all kinds of Czech cakes. I always try to invent something new, too.
Tiramisu, because of Italy
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
BJ's! We went there for our first team dinner after my arrival in Fresno.
Have you ever experienced an embarrassing moment on the tennis court?
When I was young, I went with my father to a tournament. I had some trouble getting up in the morning and when I did wake up I had breakfast quickly, got changed and grabbed my tennis equipment. When I arrived at the club, I went straight to the court. There were about 30 people watching the match, including my father. After the warm-up, a walked to the bench and took off my sweater. Then I realized I was still wearing my dinosaur pajamas! I didn't laugh because I had a quick look at my father and knew immediately he wasn't laughing at all. I ran quickly to the bathroom to change. But now I smile whenever I think about it!
Other than tennis, what other activities do you enjoy?
Handball, dancing and orienteering.
Other than your own athletics events, have you ever been to an exciting professional or amateur event?
French Open: I got a VIP ticket a friend, sat in the first row and watched Gaudio beat Mantilla.
How do you balance all your schoolwork, social life and tennis?
It's difficult, but I like the challenge. I like practicing hard, studying in the evenings and observing how much I can handle.
What are some of your future goals?
Tennis: I want to play NCAA Team and Individuals Championships this year.
Life: I'd like to work with people, probably in psychology. I also enjoy nature and the outdoors; it's a place where I can find peace.
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