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What's The Buzz: Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel

Men’s tennis concluded its fall season with Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel having a strong showing. McDaniel is the No. 26 ranked singles player and Martin is the No. 31 ranked singles player in the nation. As a doubles pairing, they make the No. 8 doubles team in the nation. At ITA Southeast Regionals, Martin won the singles main draw and McDaniel/Martin took home the doubles main draw title. The doubles team headed to ITA Fall Nationals where they made it to a tiebreaker in the semi-finals against the eventual champions. The pair took some time to answer some questions.

What’s The Buzz – Andres Martin: What did it feel like to win the ITA Southeast Regionals?

What’s The Buzz – Marcus McDaniel: What does it mean to you to receive the highest preseason ranking of any singles player at Tech?

Andres Martin: It was a pretty great feeling, it’s always very special to win a tournament especially against tough opponents. So being able to win gives nice gratification on the hard work I’ve put in and
makes me want to continue.

Marcus McDaniel: It is a reminder to myself what I am capable of and how strong our team really is. Every one of us on the team can beat each other on a given day and that number could be applied to any of us.

WTB: You made a dominant run as a doubles pairing over the fall season winning the ITA Southeast Regionals and getting to a tiebreaker in the semis of ITA Fall Nationals. What would you say is the key to your success as a doubles pair?

AM: We definitely had to learn how to play with each other and get to know our strengths and weaknesses. I think once we did that we began to communicate more and our games took off. The key however is crazy energy on the court.

MM: We have always wanted to try playing together and have been playing together for a while. I would say our ability to have complete confidence in each other’s games and the confidence that we get from each other as matches and tournaments go on has helped us become a strong team which wasn’t always the case.

WTB: Looking ahead to the spring season, what would you say is the key to a successful season for you as individuals, as a doubles pairing and a team?

AM: The key for individuals is to keep working on your game and trying to get better as the season goes on. Staying fit and healthy is also important. For doubles I would say to maintain communication with your partner and bring a lot of positivity energy on the court.

MM: Individually, being able to play while embracing the pressure of coming off of a strong 2020 season will contribute to a successful season. Playing with a target on your back adds to the pressure but it’s how I view it that will make the difference. In terms of doubles, believing that everything that we have accomplished so far didn’t happen by chance and that we have the ability to take over any match that we play will keep driving us in the direction that we have been going.

WTB: How would you describe the experience at Georgia Tech as a student-athlete?

AM: GT has so much to offer either on campus or around Atlanta I love the city. However, the rigor of the school with playing tennis at a high level is a tough thing to balance, but it is great knowing my future is ensured with one of the one of the best degrees in the nation.

MM: Life as a student-athlete at Georgia Tech is not an easy task but I do believe it has contributed to our success on court. Learning to stay level headed when problems are thrown your way helps in the most key moments of a match and we get to practice that everyday in the classroom.

WTB: Do you have any superstitions or pre-match routine that you do before a match?

AM: I like to clear my thoughts and be present other than that it’s just straight competing.

MM: Some routines I have I don’t even think about anymore. I always play serve and return
games with certain sides of the racket. Before the match I like to take some time to close my
eyes and visualize myself winning the first and last point of the match.

WTB: What is the best advice you have ever received?

AM: “There’s always someone working harder than you.” – Coach Murry.

MM: “It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it” – my dad. This has
prepared me for more moments than I can count. Can apply to something as small as that extra
shirt you are debating bringing, or something like that extra class you were on the fence for.

WTB: What has been your favorite class at Tech?

AM: I enjoyed a computer science course I took last semester. Computer science is the future and it is definitely cool to see everything you can do with it.

MM: I truly have enjoyed my Earth Atmospheric Science class that I took my freshman year. Space is one of the most mind boggling phenomena out there.

WTB: Where is your favorite place to visit?

AM: I like to visit my family in Spain. We are very close and it’s fun to travel there and see them
every once and a while.

MM: Home. It’s a bummer that I have to “visit” home but I also believe that home can be a
person or people.

WTB: Other than tennis, what is your favorite sport?

AM: Every sport is great, but my favorite is for sure basketball and volleyball.

MM: I love playing golf but I get frustrated when I shoot the same score no matter how much I
play! I also love soccer and almost chose to pursue soccer in college!

WTB: What are five things you cannot live without?

AM: Great food, traveling, family, water, rap battles.

MM: My family and friends, friendly roasts, competition, fruit, music


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