On Serve: Adrian Oetzbach Meet the sophomore from velbert, germany

You’re now in your second season at OU. What is the biggest difference between last year and this year?

"Last year, I came in as a freshman and we had a lot of upperclassmen, like Andrew (Harris), Spencer (Papa) and (Alex) Ghilea, for example. They were all seniors and juniors and very experienced, and I was kind of the guy that was learning a lot from them and they were the leaders. This year, I’m almost one of the oldest guys and that’s one of the biggest differences. I think it's just a different role this year from last year."

What has it been like to have so many new faces on the team this year?

"I think it’s cool. You meet a lot of new people and make new friendships and I think our team has a great chemistry. I’m happy for everyone that came here."

What have you worked on the most this year?

"Probably being more aggressive – playing more aggressive, playing heavier, and coming more to the net and also putting a lot of first serves and returns in and getting the point started."

What has been your favorite match so far?

"I’ll have to say when we beat Texas A&M in Orlando. It was the coolest match we had this year so far because it was part of College Match Day, it was on Tennis Channel and we beat the No. 5 team in the country in a 4-3 match and I think it was a pretty cool match. We had fun celebrating there after."

What are you looking forward to the most the rest of this season?

"I’m really excited for Big 12 season. I think our team is really hungry to do it in the Big 12 season and our goal is to get a ring this year and we’re going to see how it goes. I’m looking forward to it."

Do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions?

"Before the match, not really, but when I’m on the court I’m very superstitious. I have a lot of rituals. For example, when I walk – not during the point, but after the point – I never step on the lines. It’s kind of weird but it’s one thing I always do. … I think it helps me stay focused and concentrated even though I don’t really realize it. I think it just helps keep me in my rhythm."

What professional tennis player would you compare your playing style to?

"That’s a tough one. I would kind of say … Lucas Pouille – he’s a grinder from the baseline and he tries also to play aggressive and has a good forehand. We’re kind of the same size, so I would compare myself to him."

What has been your favorite class so far?

"My favorite class would have been Pilates last year. You have no homework, no exams or anything. There’s no stress. You just have to go there and do Pilates and I think that was my favorite class so far."

What’s your favorite place in Norman?

I’ll have to say Campus Corner – Baked Bear. I really like to go there sometimes and get an ice cream sandwich."

What is your favorite restaurant in Norman?

"I’ve got to say Thai Thai. We often go there as a team."

What do you miss the most about home?

"Probably my family and my friends."

What is it like for you to have another German player in Jochen Bertsch on the team?

"I think it’s very good to have another German guy just to talk sometimes in your own language and have someone who comes from the same culture and understands some things better than guys that come from different cultures. It’s good to talk to a guy that comes from the same place as you."

Who is the funniest guy on the team?

"I think we have a lot of funny guys on the team but Max Stewart is always funny. There’s really never a dull moment with him."

Oetzbach and the Sooners head to Los Angeles Thursday to take on UCLA at 4 p.m. CT.


Ty Russell

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