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30 Years of UAA Tennis: Mikhail Gurevich, NYU

30 Years of UAA Tennis: Mikhail Gurevich, NYU

As the 10-year mark since his graduation approaches, Mikhail Gurevich reflects on a myriad of experiences as an NYU tennis player. The all-time leader in total singles wins and wins at No. 1 singles in program history, he thinks more about his off the court career than his success on the court.

"Being on the team was so great. I fondly remember all the guys and the trips we took," he recalled. "We used to practice in the Bronx and then come back to the city at midnight to have dinner at Veselka (Ukranian restaurant) or places on McDougal Street."

Playing in era that including future NCAA individual champions John Watts of Washington University and Michael Goodwin of Emory University, Gurevich recorded 71 singles wins, including 35 at No. 1 singles.

Photos: L, Gurevich from 2007-08 NYU tennis media guide; R, Gurevich in action

He garnered second team All-Association honors in 2008 and helped lead the Violets to a fifth-place finish at the UAA Men's Tennis Championship, which stands as their highest finish in a decade. His 16 wins at No. 1 singles that season ranks second all-time in program history behind only Demetris Leontis. He also ranked second to Leontis in single-season wins (21) until 2017 UAA first team All-Association player Umberto Setter won 24.

"Every UAA tournament was more difficult than the previous one," he recollected. "Our trips were great because we had time to see the sites in whatever city we were in."

Gurevich had the opportunity to play for two very different head coaches, John Curtis and current coach Horace Choy. "Coach Curtis was part of the boys," he remarked. "We always had a great time with him because it was as if he was a player himself. At the same time, he would get serious when he needed to and bring down the hammer, but I mostly remember him as a 'chill' friend."

"Mischa (as we called him) was an awesome kid, always brought a sense of humor to our tennis family," Curtis laughed. "I think he spoke exclusively like the movie character Borat for his entire sophomore year! As a player, he was lethal. Although smaller in stature, he had the biggest heart and the biggest forehand of anyone on the team."

Choy's style also worked for Gurevich, who had his best success under his tutelage. "Coach Choy was like a fatherly figure," he stated. "He was always even keeled and you knew he would be there when you needed him."

"I really enjoyed working with Mikhail and coaching him," Choy said. "He was a fierce competitor who kept everything in perspective. He was immensely talented and was a great team guy."

Serving as team captain played a major role in Gurevich's development with the team. "Being a captain helped me be more responsible, particularly with the freshmen," he said. "I learned to be more patient with people because all of the guys were different. We definitely had good times." 

Gurevich currently works in developing and building residential projects in both New York and Miami.