A day with Dean: One sophomore’s plan for stardom

“Other people when they go home, they play video games to feel better,” sophomore and Statesmen tennis player Dean Rostom said. “I play tennis.”
Each week Rostom, a three-star tennis recruit according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, wakes up and trains from 6 to 7:30 in the morning. His schedule is structured so that he gets out of school at 1:20 and trains for two to four hours in the afternoon. Rostom takes two online night classes per week to make up for the missed content, and on weekends, he does workouts or additional tennis tournaments.
“Right now I’m working on becoming top 300 in the nation,” he said. “Hopefully by the end of summer, [I’ll be] top 100. I want to play in college, hopefully D1, and maybe I can eventually go professional.”
Rostom started playing tennis with his parents at three years old.
“I was the first child, so I always had to go with them [to play tennis],” he said. “I’d watch them and then eventually they gave me a racket to play.”
Despite playing tennis as a young child, Rostom said he didn’t take the sport seriously until seventh grade.
“I had a very hard time making friends,” Rostom said. “That’s when I started taking tennis seriously, because I had nothing else to do. I made a lot of friends through tennis and then it also helped me build my confidence.”
Rostom said his favorite part about his play is his forehand, but if he had to pick one shot to hit all of the time, it would be his serve.
“That’s the only shot that no one else can affect,” he said. “It’s just all me, and I have full control over that shot.”
At first, Rostom was not planning to join the tennis team at Marshall, but said his friends talked him into it. He said he wants more cheering at games, especially when they go to other schools.
“Cheering is like a very big part of the mental side of tennis,” Rostom said. “I feel that the other schools do a good job of cheering and we need to work on that.”