When Oregon men’s tennis takes the court for doubles, it’s easy to see where its energy comes from.
Simon Stevens celebrates each point of doubles play with an ear-shattering “C’MON” in his thick French accent and a high-five with his doubles partner Daan Maasland.
Last year, Stevens’s energy proved beneficial. He tied the Oregon record for most consecutive wins (15), a title shared with Robin Cambier, who graduated in 2014.
“He plays his best tennis when he plays with energy,” ninth-year head coach Nils Schyllander said. “Once he loses that energy, he’s not nearly the same player.”
Stevens joined the Ducks last year, traveling to Oregon from his hometown of Charleroi, Belgium. Stevens has always played with energy as a singles player, but since coming to Oregon, he has directed that enthusiasm into doubles and team play as well.
“Before coming to college, I always wanted to be energetic, but like in singles tournaments,” Stevens said.
But last year, Schyllander noticed that Stevens’ excitement during matches extended to the whole team. So, Schyllander asked the freshman to test out this mega-positive attitude’s success.
“I started doing a little bit more every match, and I play much better when I do it, and everyone told me that it helps the team, so I just love it,” Stevens said.
Last season, Stevens and Maasland went 7-3 in doubles matches. From Jan. 10 to April 22 of of 2015, Stevens didn’t lose a singles match, before finishing 20-4 overall last season.
Playing doubles with the level-headed Maasland again this season, the two have found a balance on the court.
“We know our strength now and he has a lot of energy,” Maasland said. “He keeps me energetic and sometimes I calm him down a little bit. I think it works well.”
Paired with Stevens’s enthusiasm, the men’s team has made strong showings in both singles and doubles throughout this season, earning the Ducks a 9-1 record so far. Maasland and Stevens are currently 12-5 in doubles play.
“This fall we practiced every time together, and right now we know each other pretty well,” Stevens said, “and I think you can see on the court the chemistry.”
Though Stevens is currently a sophomore, he plans to remain the men’s tennis hype guy for the rest of his time with the Ducks.
“It just so much fun playing and screaming for the guys,” said Stevens.