Saratt a gift from Heaven ... well, more like Brazil
By Al Muskewitz
Assistant Metro Editor
Anniston Star Sports Writer
Eduardo Saratt showed up on Jacksonville State tennis coach Steve Bailey’s
doorstep at the start of spring semester like one of those bundles in a blue
There was no note, but if there were, it probably would have read, “Here is
Eduardo. Take care of him, and he’ll take care of you.”
Saratt has been a true gift for the Gamecocks’ tennis team. It was an ordeal
to get him here, but the little freshman from the big country is riding a
school-record 16-match winning streak and has been a key to the team winning its
first Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title.
“I wasn’t expecting to do so well,” Saratt said, with interpreter help from
teammate and countryman Bernardo Bachino. “I started out not too good. The
courts were different than in Brazil, but, fortunately, I found my best game.
“Now I’m feeling really confident, and every match I win I feel better.”
Saratt hasn’t lost a match since Feb. 16, breaking the record of 14 set by
Vedran Sirola in 2005. He’s lost one set during the streak and just 65 games.
He was tested in Monday’s OVC-clinching victory at UT-Martin, falling behind
in both sets, but rallied to win 7-5, 7-5.
“He’s tough when the pressure’s on,” Bailey said.
Saratt’s last-minute arrival couldn’t have been more fortuitous for the
Gamecocks. Bailey had just lost one of his starters to a family emergency. He
called one of his South American contacts, who just happened to know that
Brazil’s third-ranked junior was looking for a college.
Saratt seemed headed to Indiana State, but didn’t meet one of the Sycamores’
entrance requirements for foreign students. That opened the door for JSU, but
the bureaucratic clock was ticking.
Saratt arrived just four days before playing his first match. He lost his
first two singles matches, each in three sets, and hasn’t lost since. He’ll play
No. 3 at the OVC Tournament.
“We’re so fortunate,” Bailey said. “I wasn’t sure I could even get a player
until next year, then to come up with a guy of his caliber who was available, I
should go to Vegas next week.”
About Al Muskewitz
Al Muskewitz covers Jacksonville State University
sports teams for The Anniston Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com
Note: JSU faculty, staff and students may access The
Anniston Star online through their affiliation with the University.
Those not affiliated with JSU may have to subscribe to receive The
Anniston Star online. If you already subscribe to The Anniston
Star, you receive a complimentary online membership. This provides
complete access to all the content and services of the site at no
additional charge. Otherwise there is a $5 online monthly charge for
their online service. Contact The Anniston Star for information.
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.