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College Spotlight: Kevin King, Georgia Tech

January 6, 2012 10:36 AM
Georgia Tech senior Kevin King
King is ranked No. 9 in singles and No. 2 in doubles.
King is the highest-ranked American recruit to ever play at Georgia Tech.
Ninth-ranked Kevin King, a senior from Peachtree City, Ga., went 14-3 in fall singles matches, capturing the championship of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional in Athens and also reaching the quarterfinals at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship. The left-handed All-American has a 66-34 career singles record and is 43-19 in spring dual matches, including a 23-8 mark last spring. He is also among the top doubles players in the country, ranked No. 2 in the nation with junior Juan Spir. King recently talked to USTA.com about his goals for the year, his role on the team as a senior and much more.

USTA.com: What are your goals for yourself and for your team this season?

Kevin King:
The main goal for our team this year is to win the NCAA Championships. Individually, my goal is to accomplish the same in singles as well as doubles. 

USTA.com: As a senior, how has your role changed on the team? Are you a vocal leader, or do you lead by example?

Kevin King:
My role on the team has definitely changed. Being a senior, I have become more of a leader on the team. It has been exciting to work with the new guys this year. I would say I lead more by example, but I have become a little more vocal this year, as well.

USTA.com: You and your partner, Juan Spir, had an excellent season last year, earning the pre-season No. 1 ranking. Obviously, there was a target on your back this fall. How do you guys handle the pressure?

Kevin King:
Juan and I have enjoyed the challenge of being ranked No. 1 this fall. It has helped us become more disciplined in each match, since every team we play is looking to knock us off. We lost to a couple of great teams this fall, which has motivated us even more for the spring season.

USTA.com: You also had some breakthrough wins on the singles court this fall, reaching the quarters of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. What kind of improvements have you made from last year to this year?

Kevin King:
The past year we have worked a lot on my serves and returns, which have improved a lot. Off the court, I have also been focusing a lot on my nutrition, which has definitely made a difference in my game.

USTA.com: Your coach, Kenny Thorne, was a former top player himself at Georgia Tech and later on the ATP Tour. What have you learned from Coach Thorne over the last three seasons?

Kevin King:
Kenny Thorne has taught me a lot in my time here at Tech. On the court, he has really helped me find my identity in my game. He also brings a lot of experience to the table, and he gives me a good idea of what it takes to make it on the ATP Tour. Most importantly, I have learned a lot from Kenny about having good character and being a good person. He sets a great example for all of us on the team.

USTA.com: There are a lot of great rivalries in the ACC. Which match do you look forward to the most?

Kevin King:
Every ACC match is big, but I would say I look forward to the Virginia match the most. Every year we have played them they have been one of the top teams. It is a great opportunity to see where you stand against some of the best.

USTA.com: You were one of the top recruits in the class of 2008. Tell us a little about your recruiting experience and why you chose Georgia Tech.

Kevin King:
I did not look at too many schools while being recruited, and Georgia Tech was definitely the best fit for me. I was looking for a school that was good academically and not too far from home. The guys on the team and Coach Thorne were what really separated it from the other schools.

USTA.com: Is it nice playing close to home? Does your family make it out for many matches?

Kevin King:
Being close to home has been great. It is always nice to have family and friends close. My parents and sister are able to make it to most of my home matches and a few away matches, as well. It is nice to always have their support.

USTA.com: Who have been the biggest influences in your tennis career?

Kevin King:
My biggest influences in tennis would be my parents, Sean Ferreira, who has been my coach since I started playing, and Kenny Thorne. They have helped me grow as a tennis player and, more importantly, as a person.

USTA.com: Georgia Tech is known for its academics. What is your favorite class? What is your major? Any career aspirations once your playing career is over?

Kevin King:
My major is Mechanical Engineering, and I would say my favorite class is Deformable Bodies. I am not sure exactly what I would like to do after I finish playing, but I am sure it will be in the engineering field.

USTA.com: What advice do you have for junior tennis players who want to play in college?

Kevin King:
The most important thing that I learned when I came to Georgia Tech was time management. Managing your time well will be a big part of being successful athletically and academically.


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