Golden Eagle Q&A: Dusan Medan
June 20, 2008
Dusan Medan, a junior tennis player, joined the team last season after transferring from Troy University. A native of Serbia, Medan led the Golden Eagles in singles wins this year with a 30-10 singles record, and finished 18-11 in doubles play, partnering primarily with Trent Hagan and Stephen Shao. While at Troy, Medan posted overall records of 11-2 in singles and 8-9 in doubles action. Medan earned team MVP honors in his first season with the program, as voted on by both his coaches and fellow players.
You not only came to the States from Serbia, but you transferred to Marquette from Troy. How were you able to adjust?
It was not hard to adjust because Troy was not really that nice and then I came here and I was really excited because it was a totally different environment. It was tough in the beginning because I didn't know a lot of people but the team accepted me a lot, and the coaches also. There's also a Serbian community here [in Milwaukee] so they help me too.
What brought you to Marquette?
Actually, that's kind of a silly story. When I started looking for schools to transfer [to], one of my Croatian fans used to play for the Richmond State tennis team and he played in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, so he asked me, `Why don't you try Marquette? It's a nice school, Milwaukee's a nice city with a Serbian community there. I think you'd be able to play there,' and I just sent an email in. I started talking to Coach Rodecap.
What appealed to you most about the tennis program and Marquette in general?
I'm really happy I'm in this program because people are more serious compared to the last school I was playing at. The coaches and the athletic department take everything a little more serious, more seriously than other schools. I mean, it's a private school and everything is more organized.
Is it tough for you to stay here year round? Do you get homesick much?
Yeah, I am homesick almost all the time, but that's normal.
Has anything in particular made your adjustment easier?
Yeah, my teammates and I hang out a lot, and just going out, walking around and showing me Milwaukee. Sometimes I go to Chicago with some of my Serbian friends here.
Does your family ever get to see you play?
Here at Marquette, no, but they'll probably come next year.
How did you first get into playing tennis?
I started when I was six. My cousins started playing tennis so I just wanted to catch up with them and I started playing too.
You were named MVP, as voted on by both the coaches and your peers. How did getting that recognition feel?
That means a lot to me because that means that I worked hard. I think I deserved it, but without coach's help and my teammates' help, it would have been impossible. I mean, I had a really good season, but my teammates helped me a lot. I think that every guy in every spot on the team deserved to get an award too, because we put a lot of effort into this season. It means a lot to me.
You led the team in singles victories with 30 and had 48 total wins. How were you able to be so consistent all year?
I didn't think a lot about winning all the time. My goal is just to give 100% every single match, practice, and just see what's going to happen - just never tank and give 100% all the time and I won a lot.
The team was 14-1 at home this year. How was the team about to claim such home court dominance?
I mean, we had a good schedule this year, and I think that one loss that we had, we were supposed to win that match by a couple points against Arizona State. At one point, they were ranked eleventh [in the nation] so we really didn't have a lot to get mad at. We played good tennis, not just at home, but we played good tennis on the road. We kind of struggled a little to close those matches but we had a pretty good season. We worked hard and we had our core fans.
The team finished 17-7 and fifth at the BIG EAST Championship, led by seniors Brett Binkley, Greg Sirotek, and Pete Van Lieshout. How important were the seniors all year? What will the team miss most about them?
They're really important for our team - we lost a lot [with their graduation]. I mean, I believe that they will be really successful in their lives but the tennis program lost a lot with those three guys graduating. Some of them were not in the lineup, but the effort they put into practice and how they compete and their mentality, you know, it was something special, and really, we're going to miss them a lot.
What do you do when you're not playing tennis?
I hang out a lot with my Serbian friends and my teammates, trying to watch soccer, because I like soccer a lot and I'm a big fan.
What are you majoring in?
Economics and exercise science right now. I'll probably transfer to the business school.
What do you want to do with that after you graduate?
I don't know yet [laughs].
What are your expectations for next tennis season, both individually and team-wise?
I'm really excited about next season, I mean, about the whole team, not just me. I had a good season this season and it's going to be hard to do the same thing. We're going to have a lot of opportunities to play good schools and we have a good schedule. We play at least eight or nine ranked teams, so we have a chance to beat some of them and become ranked for the first time in Marquette history.We have a lot of matches in a row, and that's going to be a little bit tough, but I think we have chances. We have chances and three newcomers coming in as freshmen, and we're going to have a lot of opportunities.
Do you go into a match against a ranked opponent with a different mindset than facing a non-ranked foe?
It is kind of a different mindset. Last season, it was kind of difficult because we didn't have a lot of chances to play ranked teams. We played maybe three or four ranked teams and we lost really, really close matches and that's made us a little more obsessive, thinking, `If we win this match, we're going to become ranked probably, and that's the first time, and we need to close this match.' It was difficult because you know you have just a couple chances so you know if you miss this opportunity, maybe you only have two more. Next season will be a little easier because we play better school and ranked schools.