Ask the Experts
Talking with MaliVai Washington
by Harry Cicma
, 24 May 2012
Follow Harry on Twitter
|Share: || || |
MaliVai Washington is well-known in the tennis world. After a stellar junior career where he competed against the likes of Sampras, Agassi, Courier, and Martin, Washington attended the University of Michigan, where he was the top-ranked player in the NCAA before turning pro after his sophomore year. Best known for reaching the finals at Wimbledon in 1996, Washington now serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN.
Contributor Harry Cicma recently caught up with Washington at the National Tennis Center in New York, where they discussed a host of topics.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): We're here with tennis star - and former Michigan Wolverine - Mal Washington. MaliVai Washington (MW):
I'm thrilled to be here right now at the National Tennis Center
, helping my friend, Katrina Adams, with her Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program
. I'm a big believer of using the sport of tennis and education to reach out and help kids. It's the life skills that the kids learn. So the opportunity to come up here and influence the youth - there is no better cause.
HC: The Tennis Hall of Fame has 5 inductees: Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Mike Davies, Randy Snow and Manuel Orantes. What are your thoughts about Guga getting inducted?
MW: I've known Gustavo since 1997, and he is a great guy. I first met him at a Davis Cup match in Brazil. I've always had so much respect for Guga since playing him in 1997. I was actually rooting for him when he won his three French Open titles at Roland Garros. He has so much charisma, and when you meet him - he's the nicest guy that you'll ever meet.
HC: And you mentioned that you were inspired on the courts by one of the inductees?
MW: Seeing Manuel Orantes win the US Open in 1975 was an inspiration. I remember his match against Jimmy Connors - it was one of the first premiere pro matches that I recall watching and following. That is something I always remember.
Orantes was a hard worker and always had a lot of class.
HC: What are your thoughts on Jennifer Capriati being inducted?
MW: Great player. She had great accomplishments earlier in her career, and she has a fantastic comeback story. To have had the success that she had - through all of her trials and tribulations - to win at Roland Garros and get a couple of major titles - that was just a great accomplishment for her. And it shows that if you can persevere through tough times, good things can happen.
HC: You've had such a great career, making the Finals of Wimbledon along with other strong results. What's new with you now?
MW: Everything is going great. I just coached my son's baseball game this past weekend - we lost in the championship game, and it's fun spending time on the baseball field with him. My daughter is training on the tennis courts, so it's very rewarding and fun to spend time with her as well.
I also am staying busy with my Foundation in Jacksonville, so things are busy and things are going great.
Leave a Comment
More Special Features
USTA College MatchDay Schedule
The USTA is sponsoring College MatchDay - a nationwide series
featuring college dual tennis matches. The 2014 series will feature 22
matches on eighteen different campuses, and ten of the matches will
be carried live on ESPN3. Check out the complete series schedule.
Eight Intriguing Questions for 2014
Tennis Recruiting enters its ninth year in 2014, and this January we
feature the ninth straight edition of "Intriguing Questions" from
columnist Colette Lewis. Lewis asks eight questions about junior
and college tennis that should reveal their answers over the next
College Format Changes - The Vote of 21-19
The scoring system in tennis is one of its most sacred heirlooms. When
the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) had its annual convention
and coaches meeting in December, the hottest and the most pressing
topic was the scoring system. Legendary tennis coach Chuck Kriese
reviews highlights of the discussion - with his usual commentary.
About Harry Cicma
When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma
covers tennis and other athletic stories for
writing articles and producing video segments.
He is co-founder and host of World Tennis
a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's
Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play
college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma
competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open.
He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and
#1262 in the ATP Entry System.
In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC,
ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis.
Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis
Championships on both TV and radio.