For the love of tennis

Katrina Villarreal, Staff Reporter

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  • Junior tennis player Eve Daniels from England showcases her excitement during a UTEP tennis match after earning a point. Photo courtesy of Ruben Ramirez

  • Junior tennis player Eve Daniels from England showcases her excitement during a UTEP tennis match after earning a point. Photo courtesy of Ruben Ramirez

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UTEP tennis player Eve Daniels has been playing tennis since she was a kid and decided to bring her talents from England all the way to the Sun City.  

Daniels is a junior studying biology with a biomedical concentration; she is not sure what she wants to do with her degree, but she loves that biology is a very broad degree. 

“There’s quite a lot of avenues that I can go down, but I was looking at biomedical engineering and something along that route,” Daniels said.  

Daniels is originally from Manchester, England. She explained that she decided to bring her talent to El Paso because Tennis Head Coach Ivan Fernandez explained the culture and the weather, which she loves, along with what the program is like and its contents.  

“The tennis program was like just like the one I wanted, so that’s why I chose to come here,” Daniels said.  

For Daniels, her dream was always to attend an American university and follow in the footsteps of some of her friends from England. 

“Quite a lot of like my friends from England also went down that route (attend an American university) and they’re older than me so I looked up to them and decided to go down the same route,” Daniels said. 

Daniels has been playing tennis for 10 years now, since she was about 7 or 8 years old. She said the first time she realized she wanted to play was when her family took her to the tennis court for the very first time and she enjoyed it.  

“My mom used to play tennis, not competitively, but she loved the sport and my Nana always used to watch it, so I guess they just took me to a tennis court, and I enjoyed it,” Daniels said. “So, I carried on playing with my friends at first and then only like a year or so later I started trying to do it competitively.” 

Daniels explains that her mother is truly an inspirational figure and when she was younger, she loved professional tennis player Rafa Nadal.  

“She’s always supporting me and is always showing me how to work hard, she inspires me with her attitude,” Daniels said. “I met him actually, he’s a really nice guy and he was such a good athlete, the way he worked really hard and grinded on the court was always inspiring.” 

In tennis and outside of tennis, Daniels has had many achievements. She is the only Miner to have a winning record for dual play in doubles and in the fall. She had eight wins, four in doubles and four in singles. Back home, Daniels earned international titles in doubles. 

“I love doubles. It’s nice like to have a teammate there to support you and I can support my teammate,” Daniels said. “That was like a great achievement and coming here on scholarship is a great achievement for me.” 

Being back on the court after the 2020 season was canceled, Daniels explained that it has been hectic, but it was great to go back to normalcy.   

“It just makes you appreciate it more you know because it was just like we couldn’t play, we couldn’t do what we came here to do. So now it’s nice that finally we’re back up and running again,” Daniels said. 

When it comes to the sport of tennis, Daniels loves the challenges that the sport brings along with being a part of a team, being there to support each other and cheer each other on, as well as all the exercise that comes with it. 

“I feel like it made me a stronger character as a person because it’s an individual sport, but also, I really love playing on a team, and it just creates loads of opportunities and I just enjoy it,” Daniels said. “There’s always improvements you can make and as a sport there’s always something that you can work on and that’s nice to have that focus.” 

Daniels is not sure if she wants to pursue tennis professionally but plans to keep tennis a part of her life. 

“I’m definitely still going to play after college or if it’s just as a hobby, I don’t know it’s a long way to go,” Daniels said. 

Daniels and her teammates prepare to take on PAC-12 affiliate at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 31 at University of Arizona and at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

Katrina Villarreal is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]