Featured / Spartan Women / Sports

Freshman tennis player excels during season full of obstacles

NORFOLK, VA — Aleksandra Evdokimova has a love for the game that first began when she was five years old in Moscow, Russia.

“My parents wanted me to find an activity to do and I was good with racket sports so they chose tennis.” she said.

The Russian natives tennis journey began in Moscow then Spain and now at Norfolk State University where she hopes to have the same success. 

“Growing up I only played tennis and it was tennis and school all the time,” Evdokimova said. They consumed most of her day.

Evdikomiva cites both of her parents as her biggest inspirations because “they always worked hard for everything.” Athleticism runs in the family as her father did martial arts growing up and her mom did ice skating. 

She credits specifically bad losses in matches growing to her being a more successful tennis player today. “A bad loss is when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to and not looking for a solution.”

She continued, “When you lose you learn way more.”

Evdokimova grew up playing competitive tennis from a very young age and moved to Spain at the age of 11. In Spain, she played for Murcia Club de Tenis where she won state championships her first two years of high school. She also won tournaments such as Regional Alevin, Regional Junior, Regional Absoluto, and both the Regional Infantil and Regional Cadete twice. 

She is accustomed to winning so this season was unusual for her.

“It was mainly a rough season for everyone because it’s such a new team. We didn’t have a coach until February so it was tough getting the lineups.”

Despite this, Evdokimova views this season as a success because they “improved a lot during the season and got to know each other a lot more.” 

“It feels good because I did everything I could this season,” Evdokimova said.

The beginning of this tennis season was her first time playing competitive tennis in over a year due to covid cancelling her senior season in Spain. She states that she was nervous and lost the match 6-1 but felt that she was back in form already. “I lost but I felt that I was building up confidence and finding my rhythm of the game.” 

“I took that first match as a chance to build confidence for future matches,” Evdokimova said.

Evdokimova managed playing during the conflict of her hometown Russia and Ukraine by not worrying about things outside of her control. “It wasn’t easy at the beginning because of the uncertainty and not knowing what to expect.” “With all that was going on tennis seemed to be pointless but I dealt with it pretty quickly.”

Tennis provided her with a way to escape the outside noise of that situation and focus on what she can control while she competed. 

“Only do it if you know that’s exactly what you want to do. If it’s not, you’re not gonna have fun and it’s going to be a waste of time.”

Evdokimova describes her love for the sport as an “up and down relationship.” She looks toward the future with her teammates as they improve with each other as time goes on.