Artem Baradach: SMU’s quiet and confident leader in men's tennis
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Senior Artem Baradach has been the leader of SMU's men's tennis team this past year, dominating singles for the Mustangs with a 10-3 record. He is recognized as the player around campus with a racquet constantly in his hand, spinning it around his wrist and practicing every shot in between classes.
"Artem [Baradach] is a soft spoken individual. He leads not through his words but by his actions on and off the court. He has outright won the respect of his teammates. I think one of the main reasons he is idolized on our team is because he is able to fully keep his composure on the court. He shows no emotion whether he is winning or losing, which is extremely difficult to do," Head Coach Carl Neufeld said.
Baradach transferred to SMU three years ago, with three seasons of eligibility left. Since transferring, Baradach has had many memorable matches and has made improvements in all aspects of his tennis game.
"He literally has changed every shot he has since he came to SMU. It's his dedication to change and going for it 100 percent that allows him to be so successful. He is one of the most hard working players that I have ever coached in my career," Neufeld said.
Baradach played many doubles matches this season with partner Gaston Cuadranti.
The duo was nationally ranked and took out many top teams such as the No. 1 tandem from Oklahoma State.
He has had many achievements on the court as a Mustang. One big one was beating the University of Texas' number one player on their home court two years in a row.
"It's very rare that someone beats their number one player, especially on their court! That hasn't been done too many times, and I mean ever," Neufeld said excitedly of Baradach's success in Austin.
Baradach qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, which consists of the top 64 players from around the United States and takes place at the end of May. He lost a close match to Stanford's number one player who went on to be the tournament champion.
"Those results for Artem were certainly commendable, and that is now his goal for this year, not only to make it to the NCAA tournament but lead the rest of the team there as well," Neufeld said.
Baradach has faced a set back recently, he is currently injured and his performance the rest of the season has been jeopardized. The team has a tough match against TCU Wednesday, one that they need their best player for.
"I am really hoping that he gets better before our last few matches, the C-USA tournament, and the NCAA's. If his injury persists it will have a direct effect on our team," Neufeld said.
The Mustangs have suffered several injuries this season from various players, including senior Daron Walsh who has just been released to play doubles.
The absence of top players has given other team members the chance to play and allowed them to improve.
"I'm very excited about the results of our team because every match someone has been out so it has really given the rest of the players a chance to step up to the plate and been a huge success factor this season," Neufeld said.
Baradach is currently working on healing in order to finish out his last season to the best of his ability, and then continue his tennis career after college. After finishing his degree, he plans to play on the professional circuit.
"He has the desire to be a great player and is completely focused on that. He has the goal of becoming a top 100 player in the world and I honestly believe he has what it takes and he will achieve that through his hard work and dedication," Neufeld said.