The Collegian recently had the chance to sit down with Henry Barrett ’19, a member of the Lords men’s tennis team. Barrett had the unique opportunity of being invited to the F29 Cairo 15 Futures tournament in Cairo, Egypt. This tournament is part of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) pro circuit. Barrett was invited to the tournament through a friend of its director, and ultimately had the chance to play in the doubles competition. Last season, Barrett helped lead the Lords to a 12th straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship.
Why were you invited to this tournament?
Barrett: I got invited through a friend of the tournament director. When I was there practicing–I wanted to get there early to adjust–he saw me and asked me to play doubles with him. He’s a full time pro from Romania, so I couldn’t refuse that offer.
How was the competition?
Barrett: The guy I played in singles was a 25-year-old pro from Italy named Kevin Portmann and I lost in the second round of qualifying for singles. Score was 6-4, 3-6, 3-6 in a 3-hour match. Doubles I played the main draw. The scoring was updated live while I was playing doubles around the world via the ITF Pro Circuit App. [The] Chair umpire guy mispronounced my name, which I thought was funny. And the guys we played in doubles were the 4th seed who ended up making the finals; one was from Italy and one from Venezuela. One of the guys we lost to in doubles is currently ranked No. 379 in the world.
How would you describe your match with such a high-caliber player?
Barrett: We lost 1-6, 2-6 and it was the most difficult match I’ve ever played, but it was such a cool experience I’m so grateful to have had.
What would you say were the most useful things you learned from the experience?
Barrett: It was great to practice with pro players from around the world and see how professional they were with their preparations. I hope to take some of what I learned at my first pro tournament in Egypt into our upcoming spring season.