Wake Forests new, non-binding early action option for first-generation students will take effect this year (Henry Bonilla/Old Gold & Black Archives)
Wake Forest’s new, non-binding early action option for first-generation students will take effect this year (Henry Bonilla/Old Gold & Black Archives)

Strong display at Wake Forest Invitational

Wake Forest concluded play at their lone home event of the fall season in impressive fashion.

Redshirt freshman Alan Gadjiev, from Uzbekistan, improved every day, culminating with a victory against Henry Patten of UNC Asheville in three sets, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, to claim the individual title.

Freshman Charlie Parry, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, in his first home event, fought his way valiantly to the semi-finals before surrendering, in two sets, to his slightly more consistent opponent, Julian Chousa of Wofford College, 4-6 and 3-6.

Gadjiev had an impressive serve throughout the weekend. He was able to alternate incredibly powerful serves along with precise slice serves; opponents were unable to guess what would be unleashed from his racket and were completely at his mercy.

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Parry won multiple points outlasting his opponent. He often had long rallies with his opponents, before eventually forcing them to make a mistake.

This highlighted his athletic fitness and competitive nature.

Parry was able to outpace his opponents, and this proved to be a successful strategy until he outran himself losing his ticket to the finals.

Regardless, he sat down and shared his opinions on his first home match with the OGB:

What will be your no. 1 focus as you start training for the spring ‘17 season?

I will focus on continuing to improve my game. At some other school there is someone else probably training more than me. I can’t have that.

My goal is to be the best I can be by the spring.

How was your transition from high school to collegiate tennis?

It was easy. I have been on my own throughout my career. But in college, you’re on a team. It is a great feeling. We practice together and train together. It’s not the same feeling when you are training alone.

It is awesome because we all push each other and compete against one another, pushing our games to new heights.

What is your best shot? Was this the same in high school? Have you had the same success against college players?

My best shot is my forehand. And it still gets the job done, but playing at the D1 level is tough.

The players are smarter, faster and stronger. It has motivated me to make my forehand even better than it was before.

What is your thought process as you play in a tennis tournament? How do you stay concentrated round after round?

My thoughts are to play a point at a time and to stay in the moment, if I start to overthink, things go downhill quickly.

To stay concentrated after each round, I think every match I play just makes me better, regardless of the outcome.

After playing so many matches, I have learned to be able to play the next round with the same amount of consistency and intensity as the last one.

Do you feel that you have big shoes to fill given the competitive roster, or does this push you to do your best every day?

I love the competition. That’s why I came to Wake Forest: so that my teammates could push me and force me to become a better player, otherwise, I will get left in the dust.

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