Burke ’14 discusses tennis successes

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2012

Men’s tennis player Brandon Burke ’14 led the Bears at last weekend’s Brown Invitational. Bruno won 28 of its 35 matches against Penn, Georgetown University and Boston College during the tournament. Burke led the way with five victories, going 2-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles. For his winning play, The Herald has named Burke this week’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Your father is a professional tennis player. Is he the main reason why you got into tennis in the first place?
Burke: Yeah, definitely. Originally, I grew up watching him when I was young. He was on the (ATP World) Tour. That encouraged me to play early on and definitely sparked my interest for it.

Did he coach you early on?
He coached me up until I was about 13, and then he sent me away to an academy in Florida because he felt it was the right time. I pretty much stopped listening to him, you know? So he sent me away.

Do you prefer playing singles or doubles?
I like both. I think if I’m playing well, then I prefer singles. But doubles is also a lot of fun because you get to play with a partner, and it’s a combined effort. And sometimes it’s like the victory is sweeter because you both put into it.

Who’s your all-time favorite tennis player?
(It) would probably be (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga. I mean, he’s definitely my current favorite, and I think my game style is pretty similar to his. I have watched him play many times, and I really enjoy watching him play.

What do you do before a match? Do you have any rituals or superstitions?
I enjoy listening to music. I never grip my own tennis racquets before a match, which is a little bit superstitious. It’s also a little convenient because, you know, gripping your racquets is pretty annoying to do. So I have one of my teammates do it for me. But other than that, nothing really too serious.

What type of music do you listen to?
It varies. Before a match, I normally listen to rap … I like Drake and J. Cole. But I also like country. I like R&B. I really like John Mayer and stuff like that, too.

What goals, for the team, and for yourself, do you have this year?
My personal goal … is to get into a little bit better shape. I think if I probably lost a little bit of weight, then I could be even a lot better than I am now. So far this year, I’ve done a pretty good job with that. So, I guess, (my goal is) to continue to do that, so that hopefully by the spring, I’ll be in my top form. And for the squad, I’d say our goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament and to win the Ivies. We’ve done well the past year. Last year, we finished 50 in the nation, which is good. But I think that we should be able to be even better this year.

What do you do in your spare time?
I watch a ton of TV shows. I’m watching like seven or eight currently, at the same time. That’s pretty much it. I sleep, listen to music, just relax.

What are your favorite TV shows?
I think my favorite of all time is “Friday Night Lights.” My favorite TV show currently is probably “Breaking Bad.”


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