Name: Dean O’Brien
Hometown: Benmore, South Africa. Dean plays at the number one singles position for the Golden Eagles.
He has started off the spring season 3-0 in singles, including a win over 29th-ranked Clint Bowles from Florida State.
Favorite Sports Team: Springboks (South African rugby team – they are the current world champions)
1. When did you start playing tennis? When I was five years old.
2. Which do you like playing better, singles or doubles? Singles
3. What does a typical day in your life consist of? Wake up, have breakfast and train for 2 hours. Then I have class for 3 hours before lunch. Train for 2 hours, and then gym for an hour and a half before supper. And I study if I have to in the evenings.
4. When you get some free time, what do you like to do? Any big hobbies? I love to play golf, surf, paintball, and hang around with my legendary friends. I also read poetry.
5. What’s your favorite tennis memory? Winning my first International Tennis Federation tournament in South Africa when I was 17.
6. How did you make the adjustment to life here in the States? It was not such a hard adjustment. I had already been used to traveling. In 2006, I was touring Europe, away from home for four months at a time. So this was something I was used to. So maybe that made it an easier transition for me than it would be for others.
7. Why did you choose to play for Tech? My coach in South Africa (Earl Grainger) said that the coach here at Tech was great and college would be a great way to keep improving my game.
8. How does life in the States compare to South Africa? The level of tennis is much higher. I have to be a much more independent person as I don’t have my parents looking out for me as much. At first it was weird not being with all my friends that I grew up with but I quickly made many great friends and have adjusted quickly.
9. What are your plans for life after college? I would like to give the pro circuit a go for a couple of years and see how well I can do. It has always been my dream. After that I would like to carry on my dad’s property business as well as playing the stock markets as I have always had a keen interest in them.
10. What are you trying to improve about your game? I have to develop a better serve and improve on changing the direction of the ball in a rally. I am working very hard on my physical conditioning so that when I am done with college my body will be ready to compete with the very best in the world.
11. What goals have you set for yourself this season? I would like to get into the NCAA ranking for singles and if possible doubles. I also want our team to win the OVC and make the NCAA tournament.
12. What else should people know about you? I’m a fun, friendly guy who always wants to have fun. I am hard working and realize that’s the only way you can achieve something if you really want it. I am a family person. I am a very privileged person to have had all the opportunities I have had in my life and I would be nowhere if it wasn’t for my friends and family.