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Feb. 3, 2016

We caught up with senior Jonathan Cornish after practice this week to get his thoughts about the opening weekend matches, preparation for Elon and Furman and his goals for this season as well as a variety of other topics.

Q: Talk about from a team perspective you guys coming out and winning your first two matches of the fall, the performance of the team, and what that does for you guys confidence-wise.
A: I’ll start with the match against Kentucky. I thought Kentucky really impressed me. They are a very good team all the way through the lineup. I thought our guys did a great job. First set, almost every single court was at five-all it seemed, and every single player had to face some adversity and come through that, which is awesome for us, it’s what you want. The Kentucky guys fought really hard and were impressive. I think they are going to have a great season, so I think to come away with a 6-1 win there was pretty impressive. In particular I thought Henrik [Wiersholm] had a great performance. He was 4-2 down in his first set. He is probably going to be a regular starter this season, and he really came through very strongly, so I think in particular his match was very impressive.

Q: Against Eastern Kentucky you had a couple of big matches in that one. You had a doubles victory and then you actually had the clincher in singles. Talk about your singles match, because you really dominated that match.
A: I think their guy’s game style kind of matched up quite well with mine. I didn’t think that he could hurt me, so I was going to be controlling most of the points. He hit my racket on every ball, he worked very hard to finish, so I felt like I could get body weight behind every thing and really play a good match. It was great having [Dustin Taylor] there on the court as well keeping me sane, reminding me what to do. It is easy to get too far ahead of yourself in those situations when you have a big lead, but at the same time it was also a great opportunity for me to work on my game in a pressure situation, and I was very happy with the overall result. Still, there were a lot of little things to be worked on, including not being too passive when I get a big lead, but all of these things come with practice, so it was great to be out there and having a lot of fun competing with the other guys.

Q: You have another double-header coming up this weekend. What do you do with that quick turnaround to get ready for another two-match day?
A: Fortunately it on Saturday, so all of the guys have five or six days of rest. We took the day off on Monday after our double-header on Sunday, and today most of the guys eased back into it, not doing too much. I think we will start ramping up practice come tomorrow, trying to play as many sets as we can, as many practice matches as we can to get as many realistic match-play points under our belts as possible before the double-header. A double-header is always a long day. Most of the guys get out there and get to compete, so really everybody has got to be ready. All you can do really to get ready is to prepare the best you can, play as many matches as you can, keep healthy, keep eating right, and staying close to the team.

Q: It’s your senior season. What is it that you are really looking to accomplish here in your last go around with the Cavaliers?
A: I think just being part of a very special group of guys has been absolutely fantastic all four years. This year it is largely just the same team that we had last year minus Mitchell Frank, who obviously was an integral part to of our team last year, but everybody knows each other very well. We have had one first year come in in January. He is actually British as well, so it is nice to have a fellow Brit on the team for the first time. But really, for my last season you just have to take it one match at a time and try to enjoy the moment. It is a very long season, even though we started very late we still have three or four months of battling every single week and traveling to places around the country, so it is very exciting. Obviously, I can’t pretend that the end goal isn’t to win the NCAA National Championship because of course that is what it should always be for Virginia tennis. Really, the journey is so long that we just have to do the best we can day by day.

Q: You are a Finance Major at the McIntire School of Commerce, something that you really enjoy. Talk about what you enjoy about McIntire and some of the opportunities that you have had being a Finance Major here.
A: McIntire has been absolutely fantastic. Maybe, besides from the tennis team, the best experience that I have had here at UVA. I have been very very lucky to just scrape in as a deferred student my second year. The professors are outstanding. They take a lot of time to meet with you outside of the classroom, and the teaching method is fantastic. You become very very close with everyone in your classes. The ICE [Integrated Core Experience] program in your third year, essentially you are put into classes that you have every single class with, called ‘blocks’. You really get to know every single person in your block outstandingly well within your 40-45 person block. Some of my best friendships have been forged during that process. All of the projects that we have to do together, all of the late nights studying and putting stuff together, it really is a pretty amazing program and the opportunities that have supported me have been absolutely endless. I have been very fortunate to have two different internships and learn a lot from both of them, each two very different experiences. That is one of the reasons why I chose finance because I thought it gave me a broad array of options, and I have not regretted that decision for a moment.

Watch the video above to learn even more about Jonathan Cornish.

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