Swede puts his spin on North Central tennis
Before arriving at North Central College, Victor Krueger's only experience in the United States was visiting family in New York several years ago.
Now the Stockholm native has brought some solid tennis to Naperville.
Krueger, a sophomore, had six wins — three each in singles and doubles — in the span of four days to earn the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week honors in late March, NCC's website reported.
“It was a great award for both myself and for the team,” Krueger told the Will County Gazette.
Krueger's award highlighted a successful spring-break slate of matches for the Cardinals, who had a 5-2 record as of March 26. NCC won all four of its team matches from March 17 to 21 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In that stretch, Kruger earned three straight-set wins at No. 1 singles, teamed with junior Alex Kohlmeier to win two matches at No. 2 doubles, and earned another doubles win alongside freshman Tyler Haizel.
Krueger said he has played tennis since he was 3 years old, although he tried other sports for a bit in Sweden. He said it was tough playing tennis in the beginning — at 5 years old, it is hard to keep the ball in a rally, he said — and enjoyed sports like soccer and land hockey more than tennis. But when he got to be about 9 or 10, he started to compete more in tennis.
Krueger said he likes the mental part of the game the most.
“It's so frustrating sometimes when you go out of a match when you feel that you were the better player, but still you lost the game, but you realize you that were better than the opponent,” he said. “In a match, you can really feel that you're having a better game, but somehow the opponent wins the point. And it's all about being smart, you know, being able to adapt, finding a different game, but also not being your own opponent, but really keeping your head up and not being frustrated on yourself.”
Krueger said he had always been interested in studying in the United States, and after a couple of years off after high school in Sweden, got hooked up with NCC through the international education organization Bluechip. According to the organization's website, Bluechip has helped more than 10,000 students from Sweden study in the United States in the last 26 years.
Krueger said he has been winning his matches because of his defense, but wants to improve his confidence in his offensive, aggressive game, with a goal of winning matches at a consistently high level of play.