As the Auburn men’s tennis home season closes on Sunday afternoon with matches vs. Arkansas and Alabama A&M, seniors Viboosh Chandrasekar and Edward Nguyen will be competing for a final time as Auburn Tigers at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
What will be on their minds as they take the court for a final time?
“It’s going to be all the memories we’ve made as a team, bonding with your closest brothers,” Nguyen says. “As the years have gone by, I kept moving up the lineup, and with our coaching, I’ve made a lot of improvement in tennis. And the friends I’ve made are friends for life.”
“Auburn has been the best four years of my life, because I’ve had a lot of really good teammates along the way,” Chandrasekar says. “In tennis, I’ve gotten better at everything. In life, you learn as you go through a lot of new experiences and mature over four years.
“The life of a student-athlete is busy, but it’s definitely worth it. And Auburn helps you a lot to keep everything balanced. It’s one of the best places you could be a student-athlete.”
“Being a student-athlete takes discipline,” Nguyen adds, “Being on point with time management and developing a lot of communication skills. That’s really helped me as captain, where I have to communicate with the guys in all different situations.”
Both are finance majors in the Harbert College of Business who have earned recognition as Academic Top Tigers and on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Chandrasekar, from Boston, Mass., has been a part of 50 team wins during his four-year career from 2014-18, and, despite injuries, has contributed seven individual wins in singles and five in doubles.
Nguyen, who spent a season at Valdosta State, arrived at Auburn for the 2015-16 season and soon moved into the doubles lineup. His career has progressed to a No. 1 spot in the Auburn lineup in singles and doubles, and the Montreal, Quebec, product serves as team captain, amassing 24 career singles wins and 33 in doubles.
Both were recruited by retired coach Eric Shore, but quickly became involved adopters of Coach Bobby Reynolds’ plans when he arrived in the summer of 2016. “When new coaches come in, it’s not always easy, but they’ve done everything I’ve asked as a coach and more,” Reynolds says. “They are two very special people.
“Eddy is an unbelievable tennis player; when I got here, I could see the skills. He knows what he wants, he’ll go and do it, and he’s succeeded. That’s his stubbornness in a good way. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and he’s done that on the tennis courts.
“And I know that willingness to do whatever it takes will help him whether he plays pro tennis for one year, for five years or in the business world. He’s our captain for a reason and he commands the respect of his teammates when he says something.
“And every time I walk into the locker room, Viboosh puts a smile on my face – the wit and the banter he has with all of us. You never know what he’s going to say, but he always has his reasoning for saying it. That creativity makes him special, just who he is.
“As a coach, I preach, ‘Walk into the tennis court and give 100%.’ I know that everyone’s 100% is going to be different, but through all the injuries, Boosh has been resilient and keeps contributing. He has so much pride in Auburn. He appreciates this place and what he’s been able to do here.”
Chandrasekar says it can be summed up in two words. “War Eagle means everything. It’s a sign that we’re all family. When they say family here, everybody really means it.”
And Nguyen agrees. “Ever since day one, I’ve really embraced the culture here. Everyone has been so inviting and willing to give a helping hand. War Eagle means a lot of things but first, it means family.”
As these two Auburn Men begin life beyond Tiger Tennis, the Auburn Family will always be grateful for what they contributed on The Plains.