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Nov. 12, 2015

Redshirt junior Harrison Richmond made his return to the court this fall after missing a year and a half. Right before heading to Florida to compete at the Pensacola Futures Tournament, Richmond chatted about his return, the demands of the fall tennis schedule and shared his experiences working this summer at Bessemer Trust, a private wealth-management company in Miami, Fla.

You are back on the court after sitting out a year. How good does it feel to be back playing tennis?
“It feels great. It feels amazing. I guess you don’t really realize how much you miss being on the court until you can’t really play and for me I was off for about a year and a half and not being able to play. Watching my teammates was great, I enjoyed trying to get them better but it really is special being on the court and you don’t really realize how much you miss it until it’s gone. So I am really glad to be back.”

What was your first match back?
“My first match was in September I believe so I was working over the summer and then we had a couple of weeks to practice and then started off pretty early in the fall. Then we’ve got one more tournament this coming weekend in November and then we will wrap up for the fall.”

Talk a little bit about the fall. In theory it’s supposed to be an offseason but it’s hardly anything but an offseason. Talk about what you guys do in the fall.
“For us it’s a little different, tennis is an individual sport and so it feels like we travel just as much in the fall than we do in the spring. The only difference it’s more individual in the fall, we travel to individual tournaments. So not everybody is together all the time. People will go their own route and kind of pick and choose what tournaments they want to play on their own. So it’s a little different in that aspect, but I think it’s healthy. As a team sometimes you can get tired of each other if you’re around each other too much so I think that having space to do your own thing, and pursue your own goals, and then come together in the spring and really be a complete team is special and I think that’s how we’ve done it for awhile and it’s definitely worked out for us.”

Another difference in the fall is that you actually play in some professional tournaments. You were in the challenger last week and this weekend is a Futures Tournament in Florida?
“Yeah some guys are playing college tournaments and then I’m going to a professional tournament down in Florida. It definitely allows us to get some different experiences. You don’t get to play the same college players the entire time. You can get some exposure to professionals, especially if people want to play after college and go on the pro tour it definitely is great in that aspect. We have the Charlottesville Challenger here every Halloween and that is an unbelievable tournament and it really allows you to get exposed to what’s happening in the real professional world of tennis.”

How excited are you for the spring to come up and for you guys to all be together as a team again?
“I can’t wait! It’s going to be amazing! I think the springs are always much more fun than the fall if you ask me just because everyone is together. You’re in it together, you’re trying to pursue a common goal, you’re working together, and you just feel part of something bigger than yourself. I think that’s what makes it special. I feel like everyone feels that way on the team and I think we are all excited to get going.”

So you were talking before that this summer you had an internship. Tell us a little bit about what you were doing this summer.
“I worked for a finance company called Bessemer Trust and they are a wealth management company I worked down in Miami, Florida and they manage ultra-high network clients. I was an intern there doing a bunch of different activities just in the business world and finance doing a lot of different roles on creating presentations and helping the company in an way I can, essentially to add value. It was my first experience every working for a company and doing an internship and I thought it was a great experience for me. You don’t really realize some of the lessons you learn from tennis can apply to the business world and the job. All the dots connect, everything is very integrated and you can learn a lot of the same lessons. For me it was a very valuable experience and I try to take some of the lessons I learned over the summer and bring it back here to school for my last year.”

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