The Ohio State men’s tennis team is defending a home winning streak of 93 consecutive matches.
The No. 3 Buckeyes added the most recent two victories last weekend after sweeping both New Mexico and Tulsa 7-0 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national qualifier. The Buckeyes are one of 16 teams set to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Ty Tucker, in his 11th year coaching the Buckeyes, is a five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year as well as the most recent recipient of the Wilson National Coach of the Year in 2009. Tucker’s 2010 team is comprised of 11 passionate players who come from as close as Dayton and as far as Japan.
New Albany native Chase Buchanan has just what the Buckeyes need to maintain their competitive edge and keep the streak alive.
“I definitely don’t want to be the one to lose it for us. It’s pretty special,” Buchanan said. “I think it says a lot about our coaching and motivation to not lose.”
He picked up his racket more than 12 years ago, and he hasn’t put it down since. He got hooked on tennis and he got hooked on winning.
Success came quickly for Buchanan. At just 13, he won the Les Petit, the premier world championship for players 14 and under.
He is the youngest player in history to win the Vero Beach Futures Event, which he did at the age of 16.
After competing in the U.S. Open Doubles Draw in 2008, he knew he was ready for the next level.
Buchanan was born a Buckeye and Ohio State was the obvious choice when he joined OSU in spring 2008 as the No. 1 recruit in the nation.
Buchanan has committed his life to tennis. He has now competed at all levels and finds more motivation playing on the team.
“I’m trying to do everything I can, finding a good balance,” he said.
In his first season, Buchanan went 11-4 in singles matches and 6-3 in doubles action.
He helped the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championships for the fourth consecutive year, winning three consecutive matches on the No. 6 singles court.
Following a whirlwind year for Buchanan, he received a wildcard spot in the 2009 U.S. Open singles draw. He fell 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round to No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, but gained invaluable competitive experience.
“It’s a little more physical [in the pros], but besides that it’s a lot of mental stuff,” Buchanan said.
This year Buchanan and counterpart Justin Kronauge feel the added pressure on the No. 1 doubles court.
“We’ve got to win our spot every time. If we win our spot we are going to win the doubles point,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan is doing his best to step up as a team leader this season and will continue to do so at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 12-13 in Charlottesville, Va.