Freshman Simon Guzan looks to continue his on-court tennis success


photo courtesy of Kathy Guzan

Freshman Simon Guzan ranks in the Top 1000 players in the US by the TRN

Adam Bilski, Staff Writer

With around 17 tournaments and scrimmages during this busy spring season, the young talent of the boys’ tennis team hopes to gain enough experience to have a chance at sections and a state title. As a freshman, Simon Guzan, who already has experience on varsity, looks to lead the team this year and in the future as a Red Knight.

After losing four seniors last year, the young players are forced to be leaders. Guzan trains during the off season in the St. Louis Park Lifetime. Last year he was ranked in the top 30 in the northern region which includes all of Minnesota and other states, such as North Dakota and South Dakota. “I practice year round indoors, and I do general lifting,” Guzan said.

With the weather conditions not being ideal in Minnesota and most tournaments taking place outside, it is difficult to get the practice and competition in consistently like players down in the south do. “I’m hoping to get a Division 1 scholarship somewhere down south where I can practice all year,” Guzan said.

Guzan aspires to emulate the game’s best players, and enjoys watching professional tournaments on TV. “My favorite tournament to watch is the Australian Open. Most of the other tournaments are very formal, but there is a lot of crowd involvement in this one,” Guzan said.

Senior captain Jimmy Borin is proud to lead such a dedicated group of young athletes and is particularly impressed with Guzan’s talent. “He is really good for how young he is. We have a lot of new guys, but it’s a lot of talent, so we are looking up,” Borin said.

Guzan played the second singles spot on varsity last year as an eighth grader and looks to improve to play the one singles spot. With a minor muscle injury, Guzan is hoping to get through his back soreness and have a good season. “It is just the way I twist my back on my serves. I hope it’s not too serious, I’m seeing the trainer every day, and it’s looking good right now,” Guzan said.

Playing in many state and region-wide tournaments, Guzan is accustomed to playing on different types of courts. He has played on all types of courts in competitions: clay court, hard court, and grass court. “I’ve played on grass courts once, but that was a while ago. I like clay courts. The spin is really fun to use and I like all the sliding you can do,” Guzan said.

Guzan has set his goals for the season and wants to improve his overall win-loss record. With a positive coach and hard work, Guzan has a chance to reach his goals. “Jaime Gaard is a great coach and really knows how to motivate our team,” Guzan said.

Guzan looks up to professional tennis player Rafael Nadal and watches him in many professional tournaments. “I really like his attitude about everything. Off the court he is a totally different person. I like to see that from people. And he is really good also,” Guzan said. Guzan hopes to emulate Nadal’s success in his own game as he approaches the tennis season.