By: Vince Menon
Maxime Armengaud (MA) just finished his junior year, his first at Santa Clara, posting a 16-10 overall record with a 4-2 record in WCC dual matches while playing at No. 2 singles all year. His play helped him achieve All-WCC Second Team honors in singles. Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Armengaud about what he's looking to improve, the transition to the U.S. and coming to Santa Clara.
SCB: After earning All-WCC Second Team Singles honors last season, how are you keeping up your game in the offseason? Are you playing in tournaments? How often are you practicing?
MA: I took a couple weeks off in order to relax from a long season and [so that I could] go back to practice fresh and with a lot of motivation. I am practicing several times a week now and I am planning on playing at least two tournaments over the summer.
SCB: You finished the season 16-10 overall, with a 4-2 record in WCC dual matches. Do you think you can improve on this? What would you like to improve most about your game? How are you working to improve this aspect of your game?
MA: Even though it was a great season individually, I am sure that I can improve my record. I had some losses that I could have won so I am expecting to do better next year. I need to improve my serve and my ability to finish points faster. I am going to spend a lot of time serving, working on my percentage and playing matches. Match situations are the best way to improve your game.
SCB: As a team, you finished 15-8 and runner-up at the WCC Tournament. What do you hope to accomplish next season?
MA: For next season I will not necessarily look at the team record but more at who we beat and our ranking. Our team goal is to be top 30 at least, get to the NCAA tournament and win the WCC.
SCB: As a sophomore at Indiana you dealt with some injuries, but came back with a healthy junior year at Santa Clara. What is the key to staying healthy and avoiding injuries during a long season?
MA: The key to staying healthy is to find the right balance between practicing enough, sleeping enough and having a good diet as well as being relaxed on the court. We did a good job at it and [Head] Coach [Derek] Mills always emphasized this over the season; [since] we were a very small team (seven players) we could not mess with our health.
SCB: What is your go-to shot? What is your favorite shot?
MA: My favorite shot is the inside out forehand; I win a lot of points with it. I also like drop shots; they always surprise my opponent because not many people use this shot in the U.S.
SCB: What is your favorite part about being a collegiate tennis player?
MA: The best part of being a collegiate tennis player is being part of a team, traveling to amazing places and enjoying what I am doing, which is playing tennis at a high level.
SCB: How was the transition from France to collegiate tennis in the United States? What was the most difficult part? Was there a similar adjustment transferring to Santa Clara as a junior?
MA: The transition was hard my freshman and sophomore years because I played indoors most of the time. I pretty much never played indoors before I came to the United States so my game did not fit with the surface. As soon as I arrived here at Santa Clara my game worked out better and I felt like my level kept increasing a little bit throughout the year.