Sports

Fordham-Bound Mahopac Senior a Singles Star

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Mahopac senior Steven Duka will play tennis at Fordham University next year. Credits: Steven Duka
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Mahopac senior Steven Duka is a member of the varsity boys tennis team.

How old were you when you first started playing tennis and how did you get started?

I first started playing tennis with my dad for fun, on the nearby courts when I was eight years old. When I turned 12, I was enrolled at an academy and that’s where I really started to play seriously. 

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Do you prefer playing singles or doubles? Why?

I would say singles because I like the one-on-one aspect of the game.

What part of your game would you say is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength would be my forehand. I’m an aggressive player and look to shorten points off my forehand. 

How has your season been going? What is the outlook for sectionals?

I’m very happy with our team this season. All the guys are working hard towards that league title and we’re becoming closer and closer as a family. As for the individual postseason, the goal is to win the conference title and then the section title and qualify for the state tournament, but that’s a long way out and I’m just taking it match by match.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-match or post-match ritual that you share with your teammates?

My favorite team activity would be our rap battles on the bus rides. We easily have the best bars in Section 1 hands down.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

My father. He has taught me what it means to have a great work ethic and has motivated me to stay focused and reach my potential, on and off the court. He has been the best coach all these years.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I play the piano and have been taking lessons since I was four years old.

Do you plan on continuing to play tennis in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

Yes, I recently signed to play tennis at Fordham University starting next fall. I chose the school because of their stellar business program along with their great tennis program. 

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

Yes, I will be majoring in finance because I see myself entering that field after school.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

My favorite professional athlete would be Rafael Nadal and my favorite sports team is FC Barcelona.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a tennis match?

I listen to a lot of different music but I would say pretty much anything up-beat.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

The power to fly because I like the idea of being able to go anywhere, anytime I want.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

I would love to take a trip around the Mediterranean Sea.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

Usually before a match, I like to eat pasta.

Best place to eat in Mahopac and why?

Crossroads Deli — they have great sandwiches.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

I would say Instagram because it’s easy to keep up with your friends and see what they are doing.

For a young athlete growing up in Mahopac, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the tennis program and why should they go out for the team?

I would say being part of the tennis program is a great thing. It has been one of the best experiences for me growing up. I’ve made a lot of friends and got the opportunity to represent my school.

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