Former French Open and Wimbledon Doubles Champion Brian Gottfried stopped by the UTC Tennis Center for a visit with the Mocs today. Gottfried prepped at Chattanooga's Baylor School before an All-American collegiate career at Trinity University.
Gottfried twice won the French Open doubles in 1975 and 1977. He also won doubles at Wimbledon in 1976, all with partner Raul Ramirez. He was runner-up in singles at the French Open in 1977 and has 25 singles and 95 doubles titles on his resume.
"It was certainly an honor to have someone like Brian Gottfried come by and talk to our team," stated Head Coach Carlos Garcia. "He is one of the best players this country has produced. I was excited to get him in front of the guys and have him share his knowledge and experiences."
Gottfried spent the half-hour session talking about his approach to the game over his lengthy career. He explained the passion, dedication and work ethic necessary to succeed at a high level and how that preparation allowed him to reach a ranking of No. 3 in the world at the pinnacle of his career.
His work ethic is legendary in tennis circles with one example constantly being brought up, even though it happened almost 40 years ago. Arthur Ashe once recalled how Gottfried missed a practice session one afternoon to get married, but made up for it with a two practices the next afternoon.
When asked about the story by one of the Mocs today, Gottfried had a perfect explanation. The way he saw it was since all of these top tennis players were in town for his wedding, he might as well take advantage of the opportunity and get some of them on the court to help make him better.
"To have someone of his ability come talk to the team is tremendous," stated senior Manuel Barroetavena. "We have a talented team with a lot of seniors, but none of us have won a conference championship yet. He told us what it takes to get there, now we just have to apply it on the court."
The Mocs are coming off a 14-9 season in 2011-12, their most wins since 2007. UTC has seven seniors and one sophomore on the roster. Chattanooga will be back in action next weekend, traveling Knoxville for the Tennessee Fall Invitational on Oct. 12-14.
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