Still Volleying For A Shot: Armenian Moves On With Hopes Of Somethin

By Justin Conn

American Chronicle
Aug 6 2009

Aug. 6–DECATUR — Unless you followed last year’s USTA/Ursula Beck
Pro Tennis Classic, you haven’t heard of Tigran Martirosyan.

And as a 26-year-old still trying to break through on pro tennis’
lowest professional level, you may never hear of him again unless
he’s back at next year’s Beck.

Martirosyan, last year’s Beck runner-up, is the third seed at this
year’s tournament and advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (4),
6-4 win over Michael Venus on Wednesday.

But at 26, most players Martirosyan’s age still entering USTA
futures events are considering hanging it up and looking for a job
giving lessons at the country club. Martirosyan already had that job,
teaching at the Westborough (Mass.) Tennis and Swim Club near Boston,
and decided that life could wait.

"I didn’t want to be 40 and say I didn’t give it a shot," he said. "And
the club I work at was really nice to me. They had no objection to
me coming out here and giving this a try. They support me 100 percent."

A native of Armenia — a country known for Christianity and cognac,
Martirosyan said — Martirosyan played at the University of Kentucky,
then all but left tennis to pursue his master’s degree.

It was a little over a year ago that Martirosyan decided to play
tennis professionally full time. He finished second at a tournament in
Joplin, Mo., then won at Godfrey and finished second at the Beck. He
finished up last season with a win at Claremont, Calif., and a second
in Hawaii. But he hasn’t advanced past semifinals in 2009. And in
three of his last four tournaments, he’s lost in the first round.

"Things haven’t been going well," Martirosyan said. "I’ve had good
wins here and there, but I can’t string anything together for a big
result. That’s tennis for you. It’s a roller coaster ride. There are
some times when you think about quitting, but overall I enjoy it and
want to keep playing."

Martirosyan has good memories from Decatur. Last year, he powered
through the first four rounds before falling to Raven Klaasen in
the finals. And though he’s old for a futures player, age isn’t all
bad. Playing against a more athletic player in Venus, Martirosyan fell
behind 2-0 in the first set tiebreaker, but took advantage of Venus’
mistakes and frustration with the officiating to steal the first set.

"There are times when I feel like I have better composure than the
younger players," Martirosyan said.

Martirosyan is realistic. He’s currently ranked 415th in the world
and would have to post a flurry of wins to ever make the big tour. But
he’d like to play on Armenia’s Davis Cup team next year, and he holds
out hope that one day he’ll break through.

"Anybody can beat anybody on a certain day. It’s just a matter of
doing it consistently," Martirosyan said. "That’s the only thing that
separates the pros and the minor leagues — consistent results."

Martirosyan advanced to face Eric Quigley in today’s second
round. Other first round winners included top-seeded Phillip Simmonds,
who survived a scare from Ashwin Kumar to win 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, and
second-seeded Michael McClune.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS