Florida Gators Women's Tennis Head Coach Roland Thornqvist [Mandatory Credit: FloridaGators.com]

Gators Women’s Tennis Prepares for Future

Gators Women’s Tennis Roland Thornqvist joined WRUF’s “Sportscene” to discuss a variety of topics. As we approach the fall, most of the talk has been dedicated to what might happen to college football. Meanwhile, other sports hang in the balance as well. One of those is tennis. The topics discussed range from financial, exposure of team, and travel.

Getting Smaller Sports Support

Much of the time, when it comes down to the budget, smaller sports get cut. Thornqvist has been trying to find ways to help smaller sports like Tennis. A major value of his is to make sure smaller programs have a strong connection to the community. Another focus has been getting the team exposure.

Oct 8, 2016; Pacific Palisades, CA, USA; Florida Gators players Brooke Austin (white hat) and Kourtney Keegan (blue hat) during their double’s semi final match against Pepperdine Waves players Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (white hat) and Luisa Stefani (orange visor) at the Riviera Women’s All-American Tennis Championships at the Riviera Tennis Club. Pepperdine Waves won 7-6, 6-7, 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, for the first time, the team was on the Tennis channel throughout the NCAA Tournament. Thornqvist said for the first he can remember, people were talking NCAA tennis, which is his goal.

The hope is to build a better relationship with the channel and get more Gators Women’s Tennis and other college matches on TV.

Change in Travel Plans

With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, another major impact on the team is travel. It’s a lot harder to bring in quality teams from across the country when travel is restricted due to the pandemic. No one wants to fly right now, let alone for an extended period of time. Roland said that early on, the Gators will have to play more regionally. He clarified the decision to do so would be from a public health standpoint and not for budgetary reasons. Thornqvist added, however, the team is fortunate to have quality competition within driving distance.

Thornqvist remains hopeful that the season can return to normal by spring.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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