Holiner’s tennis career a reflection of his childhood days

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For senior David Holiner, tennis wasn't always fun. His mother had to force him onto the court at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas. Now, he is excelling at Texas in his final season. He has already played in an NCAA final and is an All-American.

 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Given David Holiner’s obvious passion for tennis and the senior’s illustrious career at Texas, it’s hard to believe that when he first picked up a racket he wanted nothing to do
with the sport.

Holiner first started playing at the age of 6, when his mother would drive him to his local Jewish community center in Dallas and force him onto the court.

“I hated tennis at first,” Holiner said. “But my mom made me keep playing.”

In a sport where many kids start competing before they even enter pre-K, Holiner’s detest for the game at an early age could have put him at a major disadvantage.

After struggling for years to enjoy playing singles, Holiner found his niche as a doubles player. Having a teammate was just the motivation he needed. The Dallas native began to finally enjoy playing the game.

Little did Holiner know that his time at Texas would follow a very similar trend. 

As a freshman, Holiner struggled to find a balance between tennis, academics and a social life, and he found himself struggling to enjoy the sport once again.

But, just as he had grown to love the game in his early years, Holiner grew more comfortable with college life and developed strong relationships with several of his teammates. 

“Although it took a while to adjust, these guys have become my best friends,” Holiner said. “I cherish every moment, and, looking back, it’s sad because I wont be here, but I know I will keep in contact with all of them. They are a big part of my life.” 

And his greatest memory at Texas? The same thing that revived his tennis career as a youngster: playing doubles.

Holiner and his doubles partner, Chris Cammillone, beat the number-one team in the country last season. They made it to the finals in the NCAA tournament and were named All-Americans.

Now, as the team captain in his final season, Holiner says what he has learned as a student-athlete at the University of Texas will stick with him forever. 

“Being the team captain and a student-athlete, you basically have a job and lots of responsibility,” Holiner said. “With every decision you make, you have to keep in mind that you are representing [Texas] at all times. It’s made me mature.”

Just like so many other college students, Holiner isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do after he graduates. After graduation, he plans to get his real estate license and travel the world. But, as an elite athlete, he still has aspirations of going pro and pursuing a career in tennis. 

“I have many options,” Holiner said. “I am not quite sure of where the sport will take me.” 

No matter what he chooses to do, Holiner knows that he’s going to miss the experiences he’s had at Texas.

“I’m going to miss the group of guys and being with all my friends every day,” Holiner said. “The family atmosphere that UT provides and the many relationships and friendships I’ve made will all be missed.”