Feb. 19, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. –
Four years ago, when Brazil native Jonathas Sucupira first joined the Seminoles men’s tennis squad, his enthusiasm and contribution was noticed from the very beginning. Not only was Sucupira the only member of the 2004 team to collect ACC Player of the Week after posting a pair of victories over ranked opponents, but he was also the first Florida State freshman in more than ten years to claim All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.
Now as a senior and co-captain, Sucupira has learned that setting goals for oneself is important when it comes to sports. After missing more than two-thirds of his sophomore season while recovering from shoulder surgery and the first month of his junior season due to a hand fracture, Sucupria has set individual goals for the spring season.
“My goal is to stay healthy the entire season. I don’t think I’ve completed a whole season without being out a month. That’s the first goal. I also want to help the team to win an ACC and NCAA Championship.”
Over the Summer, Sucupira continued conditioning his game in preparation of the spring season by playing in Summer Circuits and other collegiate tournaments. In the 2006 ITA Summer College Circuit, Sucupira overtook fifth seed Kyle Baker 6-3, 6-3 to win the men’s singles competition only a day after winning the doubles draw with teammate Jason Hood.
“It was pretty fun winning doubles and singles. I know Dwayne [Hultquist] was happy a Florida State team won. It definitely helped us prepare for the season because it gave motivation to start practicing more.”
One of the most important factors any student-athletete has to overcome is the challenge of balancing sports with academics. On April 28, 2007, Sucupira will graduate with a Bacholer’s in Management Information Systems from Florida State’s College of Business while maintaining an 3.062 GPA.
“You just have to be able to manage your time well. I think what helped me is that I started my freshman and sophomore year studying a lot. A lot of the core classes for the major have material you see often, so you remember it. So because of that I don’t have to study that much right now, just a lot of work with group projects which is tough to schedule to meet with them because I’m always traveling with the team.”
As this season’s co-captain with fellow senior, Ytai Abougzir, Sucupira has learned several leadership skills playing collegiate tennis that he will continue to use later on in life after competitive tennis.
“It feels good to be captain,” Sucupira said. “We have a lot of freshman so it’s basically telling them what they shouldn’t do because they don’t know. A senior can help guide and support the younger guys. I definitely think this experience will help in the future if I am a management position.”
After spring graduation, Sucupira plans to finish the post season with the team in the 2007 NCAA Championships before he works toward his goal of entering the Florida State MBA Program and taking a break from tennis.
“I’m trying to get in to the MBA program and see how that goes. I want to stay in the US because my dad is getting married this year and sister just got married. I want to stay here and find a job in the states. I know I’ll still play tennis, but I think just for fun. I’m getting older and so it my body.”