May 24, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior Vahid Mirzadeh has had a stellar career at Florida State, leading his team on and off the tennis courts the past three seasons. His leadership, sportsmanship, academics and athletic accomplishments were tied together on Tuesday when he was honored with the prestigious 2011 ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
“It’s an award I’m extremely proud of,” said Mirzadeh. “It’s probably one of the best achievements for while I’ve been here at Florida State University. It’s a great award, especially being recognized at this national level. I take a lot of pride in showing sportsmanship and trying to lead my teammates everyday that I’ve been here the last three seasons and just having a good attitude and leading them in that aspect. I’ve shown sportsmanship to all my opponents I’ve ever played and respecting them no matter what the situation is.
“It’s the best award since I’ve been here, far more than any other tennis results I’ve ever achieved and I’m taking a lot of pride in this award.”
Mirzadeh will travel to New York to be part of the US Open. He will be awarded in the Arthur Ashe court as a part of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 27.
“It’s a great honor to win the Arthur Ashe Award,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It’s a combination of being a great student, having great sportsmanship, being involved community service wise and being a great player. Vahid is a great example of all four of those things. I’m really proud that he won the award and excited he’ll get a trip to New York and be part of the US Open.”
The Wellington, Fla., native has been captain of the team the past two seasons. Although he only played for three seasons, he was named to the All-ACC Team in 2010 and 2011, the All-ACC Academic Team in 2009 and 2010 and the 2009 and 2010 ACC Honor Roll. He has been named to the Individuals NCAA Tournament all three years, twice for singles and twice for doubles.
This season Mirzadeh has a 21-10 record in singles including a 9-3 ACC record on court one. He is currently No. 25 in the nation in the ITA poll. His doubles play has been just as good as he and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) have posted a 19-8 record this season and an 8-4 ACC record. The duo is currently ranked No. 13 in the nation.
Mirzadeh’s academics have been excellent since he arrived on campus. This semester, not only was he playing amazing tennis, he was also working hard in the classroom and posted a 3.93 GPA for the spring. Overall he has a 3.5 GPA while working on his degree in Hospitality Management.
He has volunteered at Tennis Community Days teaching kids how to play tennis. He has also taken time out to work with the junior tennis team this year as well as reading to elementary school kids and partaking in FSU Day at the Capital.
Earlier in the season Mirzadeh upset the No. 4 player in the nation, Alexandre Lacriox of Florida, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. In doubles play, he and Smith upset the No. 7 doubles team of Duke’s Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha 9-8 (5). During his career, Mirzadeh has a 29-10 singles record in the ACC.
The only other Seminole to win this award was Mat Cloer in 2005. Also in 2005, Vahid’s brother Hamid won the regional award while playing at Florida.