Deacon Spotlight: Luciano Tacchi


Luciano Tacchi looking off to his teammates’ courts during his singles match against the Davidson Wildcats on Feb. 28 at the Wake Forest Tennis Center.

Christina Denovio, Assistant Sports Editor

Joining the Wake Forest men’s tennis team all the way from Bella Vista, Argentina, Luciano Tacchi is a freshman new to campus this semester. Born in Córdoba before moving to Bella Vista, Tacchi attended Instituto Santa Rita for high school. He won eight tournament titles — three of which came in 2018  — and ranked as high as No. 20 in ITF Junior World Tennis rankings. With aspirations of playing professionally, he has made it his mission to dominate his opponents during his time playing for Wake Forest. So far, he’s done just that. Tacchi is currently undefeated; his first four wins at singles came against Wofford (6-4, 7-5), The Citadel (6-1, 6-0), NC Wesleyan (6-3, 6-1) and Davidson (6-2, 1-6, 6-3). New to campus and from a foreign country, Tacchi is still adjusting to the Wake Forest community, but his early success is a good omen for the rest of his career here.

Christina DeNovio: How did you get into tennis?

Luciano Tacchi: I started playing because my grandfather played. The courts were next to my home. I played more, and more and more. El deporte me empezó a gustar mucho, y después de eso, nunca paré. (I started to like the sport a lot, and after that, I never stopped). I was six years old when I started.

CD: What made you choose to play tennis at Wake Forest?

LT: I think this is the best place where I can improve my tennis and become a professional tennis player.

CD: How is the cultural shift between Argentina and the U.S., especially North Carolina?

LT: It’s different. Now in Argentina, it’s summer, here it’s winter. The thing I miss most is the food. That’s the thing that’s the most different. The other things are pretty much the same. I feel very comfortable here.

CD: What have you learned since being a part of the team?

LT: I’m learning about my teammates, the way that they play. I think that I’m learning to be more aggressive, to serve better, finish the point at the net, to be more complete with my game. In Argentina, we are not used to finishing the point at the net, or playing at the net. I think that is the biggest change in my game.

CD: What have you learned from your teammates?

LT: I always try to watch the guys from here [the United States] because they were raised here, playing on indoor courts, on hard courts. I’m trying to see how they move on the court, how they play. Every time I watch them, I learn something.

CD: How is the game different here in North Carolina as compared to Argentina?

LT: I think that the biggest change is that we only play on clay courts back home, and we play on hard courts here. I need to learn how to improve my play on hard courts to improve my game.

CD: Do you have any personal goals for your time at Wake Forest?

LT: My goal is just to be the best tennis player I can be. To win everything here, and after Wake Forest, to become a professional tennis player.

CD: At what age did you realize you wanted to play professional tennis?

LT: Decidí a la edad de los 13 años cuando dejé mi ciudad para dedicarme full time al tenis. (I decided at 13 years old when I left the city I grew up in to dedicate myself full time to tennis.)

CD: How would you describe being a part of Wake Forest’s tennis team?

LT: It’s amazing. All the players and the coaches, they know so much about tennis. They are great people. I think that’s most important to me. All my teammates are great tennis players and great people too. I feel very comfortable here. I feel like a part of the team, part of the league, part of the group of guys. Being my first semester on campus, that is very important to me.

CD: How did it feel to win both of your first two matches?

LT: It was amazing. To get two victories, it was very nice. That made me feel very confident in myself. It was very nice to start off with two victories.

CD: What does a typical practice look like?

LT: We have group practices, where we practice with all the teammates. Then, if we want, we can have individual practice. So, I’m trying to have both because both are important. I think the individual practices are very good because it’s just the coaches and me. I can practice whatever I want.

CD: Do you have any type of pre-game rituals before stepping on the court?

LT: La verdad que no tengo ningún ritual antes de los partidos. A veces escucho música. (The truth is that I don’t have any type of rituals before playing a match. Sometimes I like to listen to music.)

CD: How do you balance schoolwork, classes, practice and a social life? Can you describe what your days are like?

LT: Normally in the morning I have my classes. I try to study at that time. Then, we practice in the afternoon. Then, when I come back from practice, I’ll study or I’ll go work with the tutors. After that, I’ll eat with the guys or maybe go play some games.

CD: Have you had a bad practice since you’ve been here? If you have, what would be your plan to come back better?

LT: Since I’ve been here, I haven’t had a bad practice. But if I do, I think I would talk to the coach about which area I’m failing in. That way the next day I can change that and have a better practice.

CD: What do you think distinguishes you from other players, on and off the court?

LT: I think a good thing about being a clay court player is that in our game, we have grind. We like playing long points, fighting. Eso es mi juego. (That’s my game.) But, the most difficult thing for me. When we play indoors, is I have to adjust my game and be more aggressive. If I play my game, it’s difficult to win points or to get comfortable in the match. It can be good [at times], but sometimes [it’s] not good.

CD: Do you ever think about what kind of profession you would like to pursue once your tennis career ends?

LT: La verdad que por ahora siempre pienso en el tenis y es en lo que quiero estar involucrado todos los días. (The truth is that for now, I always think about tennis. It’s what I want to do everyday.)