Stuart Rehfuss from the Alps was on par with Alex Zverev

Alpine tennis is Stuart Rehfuss
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Once at eye level with Alexander Zverev

The 24-year-old switched last autumn from FC Viktoria Alpen to TC Bredeney in Essen, with whom he would like to play in the regional league. He was also active in the United States.

In hardly any other country is university sports as popular as in the United States. For Stuart Rehfuss, a dream came true in 2018. As part of his teaching education in English and sports in Essen, which he began in Xanten after graduating from high school, the Alpener got the unique opportunity in his fourth bachelor semester to come to America with a scholarship to college tennis. Corona had temporarily interrupted his first stay abroad in March 2020 for a year and a half, now in January the trip took him back to Arkansas – one of the southernmost states of the United States – during his master’s education.

Far away from the classic tourist destinations, the athlete is right now enjoying his adventure in the middle of the “classic country lifestyle”. It’s just another world, ‘says the half-Englishman, whose mother grew up on a farm in Britain. “College tennis is a career booster and a great opportunity for people who may not be good enough to become professionals but want to get the best out of themselves,” Rehfuss said. Six intensive training units are on the program per week.

After his third season at Southern Arkansas University, a new challenge awaits the 24-year-old in Germany at the start of the summer season from the beginning of May. Rehfuss will take the next step by signing a two-year contract with the Bredeney tennis club. The club from the Ruhr area is the only one in Germany represented with both a women’s and a men’s team in the first Bundesliga. The former number one of FC Viktoria Alpen is used primarily in the fourth-ranked Lower Rhine League team in Essen. “We are ambitious and want to move up to the regional league.” He was last active with his home club in the second league, which is two classes lower.

Stuart Rehfuss first picked up a bat when he was five years old. His two older siblings showed him how. Until he was twelve, he also played football for SV Menzelen. “At one point it became too much and I had to make a decision because tennis got a step higher,” recalls Rehfuss, who fought his way up from district to district to the association’s squad and won many trophies in rankings and championships. .

His talent did not go unnoticed, so he played for TC Sportpark Moers-Asberg in his youth. In the men’s department, the student remained loyal to FC Viktoria Alpen for a long time. The move to his apartment share in Essen, which was completed in 2016, did not change that in the first place. Even today, Rehfuss often commutes to his parents’ house in Menzelen-Vest on weekends. In the Alpener Tennisschule, the C-Coach provides five-hour units for children and young people between the ages of ten and 20 several Fridays a month. “I am very attached to my home country and have deep roots in the Alps. The association is simply at my heart, and I am still a member, “says Stuart Rehfuss.

To continue working towards his absolute maximum performance, the forward-looking striker is looking forward to a new level at Bredeney. During his educational years in America, Stuart Rehfuss rose from rank 550 to rank 188 in the national rankings. In order to make a living from tennis, you need to be among the top 300 in the world. “I will try to get as high as possible by participating in national tournaments and just keep evolving. Becoming a professional is not necessarily my goal. It’s utopian, ”says Rehfuss, who will start his legal term at the end of the year and is clearly focusing on his professional future as a teacher.

Stuart Rehfuss often turns on the television in his spare time, and not just at the prestigious Grand Slam tournaments. “I look at everything, always trying to learn and learn tactical things from world-class players,” says the ambitious 24-year-old. His greatest role model: Roger Federer. The 40-year-old Swiss has been one of the best in the world for more than two decades. “He enters the square like a majesty. His play is extremely varied and he never creates negative headlines. It is very enviable. “

Rehfuss also has a personal history with Germany’s currently best tennis player, Alexander Zverev. Both were born in 1997 and were in the same field of participants at the German championships in the age groups U12 to U14. There was never a direct duel, but Zverev’s path to success was mapped out early. “I was 40th on the rankings, he was number one even then,” remembers Rehfuss, who feels most comfortable on hard court. His aggressive play with rhythm changes should help him really pick up speed at TC Bredeney in the future.

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