Swedish native books perfect ending to college tennis journey

Grevelius eyes big final year for USF Bulls

Tennis player celebrating after winning a set
Erik Grevelius beat Nolan Ranger from Penn State in straight sets on Wednesday. (Photo by: Isaac Hung) 

TAMPA, Fla. – University of South Florida senior Erik Grevelius has enjoyed his college tennis experience in the United States, and is determined to bring his team a conference title before returning home.

The Swedes’ biggest goal this year is to win the American Athletic Conference and achieve success as a unit with his teammates.

“I just hope that the whole team can start connecting and we can start playing good, be able to try and compete for a conference ring at the end of the semester, this will be a huge goal for me,” he said, after a straight-sets win over Nolan Ranger, of Penn State, last week.

The former national youth champion signed a contract with his academy in Sweden earlier, and will start his professional career after completing his final year with the Bulls.

Growing up in a sports family in Stockholm, being a professional tennis player has always been the dream since he was four. He practiced almost every day at a tennis club only three minutes away from his home when he was a child.

“I’ve played tennis for my whole life,
and I always wanted to try and go professional.”
(Photo by: Isaac Hung)

Playing college tennis in his fifth year, Grevelius did not regret deciding on moving to the United States when he signed with the University of Georgia in 2019. He came to South Florida in 2022.

“When I was 19 years old and about to finish high school, it was either staying home continuing playing and start playing on tour, or I knew about the college where the tennis level is very high, you get an education, and you get to compete at a very, very high level,” he said.

“I knew that if I did go to the right school, that will be very good for my tennis, my education, and my social life.”

Grevelius says there is a difference in tennis culture between the two countries.

“Playing back home, when you start winning, you’re one of the best in the country. People give you a lot of respect, so some matches become easier because of that,” said Grevelius.

“But in America, and especially in college tennis, everyone is fighting very, very hard. Everyone wants to win for their team, which makes it a lot of fun. Because you’re not only playing for yourself, you’re playing for everyone.”

He is glad to have the opportunity to compete in diverse environments. 

“I love playing tennis in America. I also love playing back home and it’s (on) different surfaces. I’m very happy to be able to do both.”

As one of the three doubles teams named to the American Athletic Conference All-Conference Team in 2023, he was ranked No. 9 (ITA) with Alvin Tudorica at doubles earlier this year.

Alvin Tudorica (left) and Erik Grevelius (right) won seven doubles in a row in the 2022-2023 season. (Photo by: Isaac Hung)

Grevelius is having a hot start in his final year. After victories against Penn State on Wednesday, he now sits at 8-2 in singles and 8-3 in doubles on the season.

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Posted: Mar 7 2024 4:53 pm
Filed under: Sports Tennis