May 17, 2004

One-on-one with Men's Tennis Senior Erich Chen

May 13, 2004

The Santa Clara

After setting the record for the most career singles wins and doubles wins, senior Erich Chen of the men's tennis team sat down with Sports Editor Jenna Hudson.

JH: Can you tell me about setting all those records?

EC: After my junior year, my coach told me how close I was to breaking the record. I was thinking about not playing tennis this year because it is kind of a full-time job in addition to school, and I do have an internship. But then I had a chance to break the record. When I did become close to it, I was kind of nervous. Luckily I was able to put it in the back of my mind so I was able to do it.

JH: Looking back, what were some other high points?

EC: I think my sophomore year where we reached our highest national ranking as a program.

JH: Did you find it difficult balancing school and tennis?

EC: It just took some constant attention to make sure I was on task all the time. There was school in the morning, practice in the afternoon and homework after that.

JH: Were teachers understanding when you had to miss class?

EC: Surprisingly yes. I've heard some horror stories about teachers just not being understanding at all. But most of my teachers have been really nice .

JH: Now that you're graduating, what do you plan to do?

EC: I'll be traveling to Hawaii actually to play a doubles tournament. Once next fall comes around, I'll start a full-time job.

JH: What job?

EC: I'm going to be starting as an analyst for Accenture, a developing company in Palo Alto.

JH: Is staying in the Bay Area something you were looking for?

EC: Yeah, it was something I most definitely looked for when looking for jobs. I just love this area so much.

JH: Have you lived in the Bay Area your whole life?

EC: My whole life. I just can't seem to get away from this place.

JH: Do you think you'll just play tennis casually or go pro?

EC: The plan is now, just to go with the safer route and go with the full-time job.

JH: How did you get started playing tennis?

EC: My father started me on playing tennis. And then my mother took over.

JH: How old were you?

EC: Ten years old.

JH: How did you start competing?

EC: I started going to clinics at the local club. And then I started playing tournaments and doing well.

JH: How did you decide to come to Santa Clara?

EC: I was recruited by the tennis coach. Because I went to Bellarmine, I never even thought about coming to Santa Clara because it was so close. It was just a combination of good academics in the field that I'm in, computer engineering, and the tennis program, which was on the rise at the time.

JH: What other schools were you looking at?

EC: Harvard and Berkeley.

JH: Have you been happy with your decision to come here?

EC: Definitely. I've been lucky where I like every aspect of coming to school here.

JH: What do you think you're going to miss most?

EC: Definitely the people. And the tennis team. And even though I hated it while I was doing it, I'm going to miss the workouts.

JH: Was your team really close?

EC: This year especially, we were very close. We all hung out all the time, outside of tennis.

JH: What do you like to do in your spare time?

EC: Definitely go out a bit. I enjoy the computer and I love video games.

JH: Do you watch pro sports on TV?

EC: Yeah, all of them.

JH: What are your favorites?

EC: Pro basketball and football.

JH: Who are your favorite teams?

EC: For football, the Oakland Raiders. I know everyone's probably going to hate me for saying that. And then for basketball, probably the Dallas Mavericks or Sacramento Kings.

JH: Why Dallas?

EC: I love Steve Nash, except for that hair.

JH: Do you watch tennis?

EC: I never liked watching tennis when I was younger on TV. Now I love watching tennis too.

JH: Is there any particular tennis player that you look up to?

EC: Pete Sampras when he was playing. He was my idol.

JH: Are you looking forward to graduating?

EC: I'm looking forward to graduating and finishing my college career. But I'm definitely going to miss this place.