Better conditioning helps men’s tennis sophomore in doubles

Eric Biscoveanu has a 5-2 doubles record this season after making changes to his game.

Sophomore Eric Biscoveanu practices at Legacy Tennis Center in East Falls on Thursday. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Eric Biscoveanu, a Yardley, Pennsylvania, native, crossed state lines to attend Notre Dame High School, a private school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

His parents wanted him to attend a smaller school where he could have more attention from teachers, he said, but his education wasn’t the only thing that improved while at Notre Dame. He was able to hone his game as a tennis player, too.

Biscoveanu was rated a four-star recruit and the third-best high school tennis player in Pennsylvania’s class of 2016 by Tennis Recruiting Network. He didn’t make many alterations to his game as a freshman at Temple, but that changed this spring.

“I was having some good results, and there were other matches that I thought I could’ve won,” Biscoveanu said. “This year, I definitely felt like I focused a little bit more on my fitness. That adds an extra aspect of what I’m able to do on and off the court.”

Biscoveanu has a 2-4 singles record this season. In doubles play, Biscoveanu has a 5-2 record with three different partners: junior Uladzimir Dorash, sophomore Francisco Bohorquez and freshman Michael Haelen. Working with multiple partners is nothing new for Biscoveanu.

Last season, Biscoveanu had five different doubles partners: Bohorquez, Artem Kapshuk, Florian Mayer, Vineet Naran and Filip Stipcic. Naran and Stipcic graduated after the season, while Kapshuk transferred to Texas Tech University and Mayer is no longer at Temple.

Coach Steve Mauro said he changes some of the doubles pairings due to factors like injuries and athletes’ different playing styles. Because all of Biscoveanu’s partners had their own playing styles, each helped him with a different aspect of his game, he said.

For example, Naran helped Biscoveanu develop his aggressiveness. Stipcic helped Biscoveanu keep a cool attitude during doubles matches.

“Now that I’m not a freshman, I understand the way that doubles is played a little bit better this year,” Biscoveanu said. “I can help out Michael [Haelen], since he’s a freshman. Maybe next year, he’ll learn a lot more how to properly play doubles. We’ll be even better than what we are this year. We’ve had some pretty good results together so far.”

Biscoveanu and Haelen have a 2-2 record as doubles partners. Their two wins came on Jan. 19 against Morgan State University senior Lucas Krusinski and freshman Sebastian Lopez and on Jan. 26 against St. Francis College freshman Daniel Blasco and junior Pablo Blasco-Torres.

Biscoveanu and Haelen, a right-hander, played against each other before becoming teammates this season. In 2016, Biscoveanu defeated Haelen, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, during the Round of 32 of the New Balance High School Tennis Championship in Boston.

“[He’s helped] with the patterns we play, definitely getting me better at the eye formation, helping me with volleys and serves,” Haelen said.

As part of his sophomore year adjustments, Biscoveanu has improved his physical build, Mauro said.

“His fitness level is one of those things that has stood out,” Mauro said. “His conditioning has improved. He gives 100 percent at practice every day.”

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