By: Kaitlin Fuelling, '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara men's tennis team will take on Michigan early this afternoon at the ITA Kickoff Weekend Tournament in Berkeley, Calif. Earlier this week, SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with red-shirt senior, Matt Kecki (MK), who was born in Northern California, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and is back in the bay to receive his MBA from Santa Clara.
SCB: What age did you start to pursue tennis?
MK: I started playing tennis at age four when I saw my dad win a tennis trophy and I said I wanted one.
SCB: What has been the most difficult thing to adjust to as a MBA student-athlete?
MK: Definitely the schedule at times. All my classes are in the late evenings and last quarter I was leaving my apartment at 6:40 to work out, so that made for some really long days.
SCB: How has your experience been at Santa Clara in comparison to USC?
MK: It's definitely a little different. USC is a much larger school and the athletic department has a bigger budget and adds a few more perks to being a student-athlete. Santa Clara is located in a much nicer area, so not living in South Central Los Angeles has been nice.
SCB: What are you most looking forward to at Santa Clara?
MK: I'm looking forward to getting a positive experience from a rising tennis program as well as further pursuing my graduate education.
SCB: How do you prepare during the off season?
MK: During the off-season I usually take time to recharge my batteries and relax a bit before beginning the extensive work required for season.
SCB: What would you consider your greatest strength to be?
MK: At this point in my tennis career I would say my greatest strength is my experience. I have played matches at every grand slam in the juniors, and in college I played through several tough matches through two NCAA national title runs. So I feel I have an advantage when playing against younger players that aren't used to dealing with the pressure of playing in big matches and in front of crowds.
SCB: What do you see as your biggest tennis accomplishment?
MK: When I was younger I won the International Nike Junior Tour; a tournament that Nadal had won just a few years prior. After winning, I got a helicopter ride with some Nike reps to the Masters Series in Paris, which was a pretty cool experience.
SCB: Do you have a special pre-match routine?
MK: Not really, I usually just take some time to listen to music and focus before my matches.
SCB: What do you plan to do after you complete your MBA?
MK: After I complete my MBA, I would like to continue my voracious appetite for enrichment and competition by seizing my next life endeavor with as much tenacity, passion and pride as possible.
SCB: What are some of your favorite foods?
MK: My favorite foods are pretty much anything unhealthy. I am a huge candy junkie: Sour Patch, Air Heads, and lately those caramel apple pops are some of my favorites.