Jeff Huehn/ UTSA Athletics
Whether it was in the beautiful country of Brazil or on the UTSA tennis courts, sophomore Diogo Casa has always known that tennis is where his heart is. The Pelota, Brazil native found his calling thanks to his father Vladimir Roberto Casa.
“My dad used to play tennis back in Brazil,” Casa recalls. “He introduced me to the sport, and I liked it.”
Back in Brazil, Casa had the opportunity to be exposed to agencies that helped student athletes come to the United States and play collegiate sports. From there, the UTSA men’s tennis coach Jeff Kader contacted Casa about joining the team.
Casa’s teammates and coaches have taken notice of his talent and passion for tennis during his time at UTSA.
“He can be down in a match — down big — and know he is not playing well, yet at some point he will find a way to get himself back into it,” Kader says. “I think that’s not something that can be taught, just learned. He’s not afraid, it doesn’t have to look pretty or be the perfect shot every time.”
It is Casa’s dream to be a professional tennis player after graduating college. At the rate he is going that opportunity might present itself. For now, he plans on using his sophomore year to strengthen his skills.
Casa has a vivid memory of his time playing tennis in Brazil that still impacts his game today. There was one match in particular where Casa found himself as the underdog.
“I actually remember one game back in Brazil where the match took four and a half hours. I won against a guy who I can say is not my best friend,” Casa recalls. “During the game it was pretty intense. We were tired at the end, but luckily I won.”
But with every game that Casa plays, he continually finds a lesson and aims to be better.
“I definitely get my inspiration from winning,” Casa explains. “Losses we learn from, but the inspiration comes