Canadian leaving his mark on the courts in Florida

NCAA D1 star from Toronto is nationally ranked

Tennis player Alvin Tudorica celebrating
Alvin Tudorica celebrates a big point during his victory on March 5th, 2024. Photo by Zac Phillips/Toronto Observer 

TAMPA, Fla. — South of the border a nationally ranked Canadian is lighting up the NCAA Division I tennis courts.

Toronto native Alvin Tudorica, a University of South Florida senior, is ranked 45th by the NCAA. He was runner-up at the 2023 ITA Regional Fall Championships in October, qualifying for nationals, and made it to the quarter-finals.

Hard work and determination hold the weight of his success. The 22-year-old focuses a lot on his game.

“The biggest part … it has to come from within, from the person, and I feel like, I kind of have that in me, which I am happy to do,” he said, after beating Miko Eala, of Penn State, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8). “Of course, (the coaches) help me a lot, but you have to want it, you have to want the help, you have to want to put the extra work in.”

The lefthander has been ranked as high as 27th in singles this season and 19th alongside his doubles partner and good friend, Eric Grevelius.

Tudorica arrived at USF a top recruit and ripe freshman but never viewed the drastic transition as a challenge.

“I like the warm, people always say, ‘Ah, you’re from Canada. You should be used to the cold.’ But, no, every time it gets cold, I’m still not used to it,” Tudorica said. “It revolves around grinding, being there all day, and annoying the opponent by being very physical, and liking the heat more than they do.”

The aggressive play and rigorous attention to detail have paid dividends throughout college, but he doesn’t plan on stopping there.

“Yeah, I mean like a lot of people I’ve dreamed of turning pro. It’s kind of scary, I got so used to this for four years but, I mean, I have to do it if you want to have good, high aspirations.”

One goal is travelling overseas when considering the path to compete professionally. He said he might travel across the pond with Grevelius to Sweden, his partner’s home country.

The two could split the expense of being a professional tennis player, he said, as the cost is one of the biggest challenges in becoming a successful pro.

Tudorica still has his sights on this year’s NCAA schedule, but his drive to compete at the highest level and attitude that he belongs could lead him into a successful pro career.

 “A lot of the time I say a big thing is belief,” he said. “Just believing you can and should be there and not thinking, ‘Oh, these guys are too good; I don’t belong here.’”

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Posted: Mar 7 2024 9:25 pm
Filed under: Local Sports Sports Tennis