Rafael Davidian joined the Utes team in January 2012, after graduating high school 9 months early. He was ranked consistently in the top 10 in Germany throughout juniors and the top 5 in Canada. In the last years he mainly focused on the ATP tour and successfully qualified for 4 Futures events. At age 17, Rafa currently holds an 8-3 singles record, having played mainly at the #4 position.
Please meet, Rafa!
QUESTION: You are a true citizen of the world. Could you please explain your roots and all the languages you speak?
DAVIDIAN: Yes, I was born in Germany and was there until I was about 14. My family then moved to Canada. I lived there for about two years before moving to L.A. to train and play more tournaments. I speak German, Russian, and English.
QUESTION: You have been on this team now for 2 months. What do you think about your time here so far?
DAVIDIAN: Time has gone really fast. The team has been great and the coaches and staff are always very supportive. I really like everything here so far.
QUESTION: Why did you choose Utah?
DAVIDIAN: I had a lot of reasons to choose such a great university. First of all I really liked the team and the coaches, I think that the environment here is a great place to improve both on and off the court. I also really like that we are in the PAC-12, so the level of competition is really high and academically the University is acknowledged really well.
QUESTION: What are your goals while competing for Utah?
DAVIDIAN: I hope to improve my game as much as possible, so I can win every match for the Utes. It is going to be a tough season, but with the team we have we can definitely be very competitive and go to the NCAA Championships.
QUESTION: What about your overall goals in tennis?
DAVIDIAN: I definitely want to pursue a professional tennis career after playing for Utah. I have already had a little success on the Futures tour, and hopefully with the training and support I am getting here I can go even further.
QUESTION: What do you think of the level of tennis at Utah?
DAVIDIAN: I think that we are playing on a pretty high college tennis level. There are a lot of good players here that are competitive and push you to get better. We also have a young team and with such a great coaching staff there is a lot of potential.
QUESTION: This is your first time ever being part of a team, how is it different playing for a team?
DAVIDIAN: I think it is a totally different and very benefiting experience. Besides playing for yourself, you are also representing the team and the university, which takes a lot of responsibility.
QUESTION: What has surprised you the most so far?
DAVIDIAN: The weather has been really nice. We had a little snow and now it is getting warmer. It is great that we can already practice outdoors.
QUESTION: You have been very independent from very young age and have always focused on playing on the pro tour. How have your experiences helped you prepare for college tennis?
DAVIDIAN: You have to set priorities and manage your time well to be successful. There simply are a lot of things to take care of. My independence at a young age have prepared me for that.
QUESTION: What would you tell people, and especially prospects about college tennis and Utah?
DAVIDIAN: It is very useful to take all your recruiting trips to get an idea of the universities. It is important to look at the team and coaches and how well you fit in with them, because you will be spending a lot of time with them. I think that Utah is a great university. The coaches and team are like one big family here, there is a lot of support coming from them. The accommodations here are fantastic, and you are getting a lot of academic support. Utah’s campus is probably one of the nicest in the nation and Salt Lake is a great city!