NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thais Minet has grown up in a number of places around the world. His next move will be to the Lipscomb University campus where he will play for the Bisons tennis team in 2014.
“We are excited that Thais has decided to sign with Lipscomb University,” Bisons’ tennis coach Mario Hernandez said. “He will be a great fit at Lipscomb University because he has done well both on the court and in the classroom.
“I think he fits in well with the types of players that we have here and the types of players we want to continue to develop as men at Lipscomb - dedicated, focused, respectful, and hard-working guys in any aspect of their lives.”
Minet has been in the Seattle area since the 11th grade, his second time to live there. He is a student at Washington Virtual Academy. During the past year-and-a-half he has won one Pacific Northwest Champs tournament and been a finalist in others. In doubles he has won two tournaments and been a finalist in several others.
This past summer Minet was on the team that represented the Pacific Northwest in Champaign, Ill., at the 18s National Team event. At the most recent Endorsement Ranking tournament Minet finished sixth.
He is ranked in the top 10 for the Pacific Northwest Section which includes the states of Washington and Oregon.
“Thais has a good junior ranking but he has been flying under the radar a little bit because of his unique background living abroad,” Hernandez said. “I believe he can really grow and improve a lot here at Lipscomb.
“He has the athleticism, work ethic, and technical skills in place already. He is only going to grow more when faced against NCAA Division I competition. . I have 100 percent confidence that Thais' potential on and off the court will explode here at Lipscomb."
Minet, 5-11, 150 pounds, was born in Denmark and moved to the United States to Atlanta, Ga., when he was six. He started playing tennis in Atlanta where he started by rallying with his father.
Two years later Minet moved to Seattle for the first time where he began the competitive portion of his tennis career. A versatile athlete, Minet also played soccer until the age of 13 when he decided to concentrate on tennis.
When Minet was 11 he and his family moved to Beijing, China where he continued to train and work on the fine points of his game. He participated in a Chinese junior tournament, the only foreigner in the field.
In China Minet was able to experience professional tennis close up, attending the China Open and The Masters numerous times as well as the Beijing Olympics. A highlight for Minet was the opportunity to meet Andy Murray at one of the Masters tournaments.
After three years in Beijing Minet moved to Singapore in Southeast Asia. Singapore has a small but extremely active tennis community with local and expat players from all over the world.
Minet was able to train and participate in all the local tennis events. He gained a variety of match experience, participating in both junior and adult tournaments.
He and his father often teamed up in doubles. Minet won a junior national tournament and reached the semifinals and finals of several other national tournaments as well as winning doubles titles twice. He reached a ranking of four in the 16s.
Summer holidays were always spent in Denmark where Minet would play in Danish summer tennis tournaments. He also participated in Dave Bandelin’s EuroElite summer camps and Tennis Europe tours; a popular venue for competitive Scandinavian players.
From Singapore Thais traveled to Vietnam to meet with Bandelin and a group of Scandinavian players to play in two ITF tournaments. He got his first ITF points in doubles on this tour.
"Thais is very technically sound and has a versatile all-around game that will give him many options in singles and doubles,” Hernandez said. “That's definitely a positive. You don't want recruits coming in with any major technical flaws.
“I'm confident that with his polished game, we will be able to help him understand his own game to the best of his abilities. He will only become a better competitor and leader through the tough competition and unique team environment for tennis that is only found in college tennis.”