Nikki Carnovale leads the defending champions from York back into the spotlight at the University Championships. The first-year student, who was named OUA conference player of the year and an OUA all-star, played out of the top spot throughout the season for York and finished with a combined record of 10-2 in both singles and doubles play during the season. Nikki is looking to help her Lions repeat as champions, as the York ladies won the national title last year. Below we learn more about her experience growing up in the game, as well as other facts leading into the championship.
How did you get your start in the game of tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was eight years old. My grandmother has a tennis court in her backyard so from a young age I was intrigued with the sport. I spent hours watching others play, picking up balls, and doing anything I could to be on court. After a long time of not being allowed to play, my parents finally got me my first racquet. From that point forward I fell in love with tennis.
Why did you choose a Canadian university?
In the process of choosing a university, I was debating between schools in Canada or those out of the country. This choice was extremely tough for me to decide where I would be going. However, staying in Canada seemed to be more suitable for my life. The biggest factor that helped me come to my decision of proceeding to go to a Canadian school was my family and friends. Now that I have just finished attending my first year of four at York University, I am grateful to have my family, friends, and coach all located in the same city.
Is there any team in particular you are looking forward to facing?
I look forward to facing Montreal because of the little rivalry we have with each other. They will probably be our biggest competition at nationals so I look forward to the challenge.
What is the strangest talent you have?
My strangest talent is probably that I’m ambidextrous. I used to play tennis with my right hand then one day I switched it up and tried playing with my left hand. I was hitting better than normal so ever since I’ve been a lefty.
Who in tennis would you say you look up to the most or admire the most?
In tennis I really admire Roger Federer. He is probably the only person I enjoy watching play. Whether he is winning or losing he plays with such class and it is truly inspirational to watch.
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