Soufiane Azargui: Culmination of the Fall

Written by: Soufiane Azargui


***Soufiane Arzagui came to Toronto from Morocco at the age of 10 and a half. Over the next 7 years, Soufiane developed as an excellent tennis player winning singles and doubles titles at the national and ITF level as well as maintaining a high academic level at Bateman High School in Burlington. After six years at the ACE tennis Academy he fulfilled his objective of receiving a scholarship to an Ivy League school, Brown University in September of 2010.  Soufiane is blogging us on a regular basis about his school life.***


Sophomore year began for me with a realization that our two great senior captains are gone, and having four new faces added to the team this year to help us during season. I also have figured out my major which has to be declared by the end of this year. I think I’m going to try and major in economics.

Brown Invitational Tournament:

Tennis started off pretty quickly with our first tournament a week and a half after we started training. I played in and won the top flight of the Brown invitational tournament, playing two of my teammates in the tournament. In doubles, Brandon and I tried to switch sides to test it out in the top flight of the doubles draw. Brandon caught an unlucky break and got a shoulder injury that forced him to pull out of the singles final. We ended up losing to teammates of ours in the finals of the tournament.

Flushing Meadows:

Then came the Flushing Meadows tournament, with tons of flights in both singles and doubles to accommodate all the schools of the region. It is played at the US Open site and I drew the second seed of the tournament in the A draw. He apparently was the top player in the region and the number 1 for Yale. I played really well and won that match. Then beat the 1 guy from the Army school before losing to the number 2 from St Johns in the semi finals. Brandon and I dominated the B doubles draw, with our toughest doubles contest being 8-4.

There were two tournaments left for me to play: A Dual match invite at our house as well as the Regionals tournament.

We hosted Georgetown, Stony Brook University, and Boston College and had a dual match against each one. We beat Georgetown soundly as a team; I had a helping hand winning at #3 doubles and #1 singles. I also helped beat Stony Brook University beating their number one singles player but sat out doubles play. Against Boston College, I only played doubles losing at #1 doubles 8-6.

Last tournament was the Big Regional tournament; I got a generous seeding at #8. The most coincidental match I played first round when I drew a fellow Moroccan that I played with when I was 10-12 years old and now plays for Drexel College. After advancing past that opponent, I again faced the #1 from Army. I won that match to advance to the round of 16. There, I faced the number from Cornell where we had a tough three set three hour battle that I eventually lost. Brandon also reached the round of 16, losing to the number 1 from Yale in three tight sets and together, we lost to the number 1 team from Army, a team we were clearly favored to beat.

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.