Senior Cory Parr of Jericho, N.Y., is one of the top men's tennis players in Wake Forest University history. Currently ranked No. 1 in doubles with partner Steven Forman and No. 21 in singles in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings, Parr posted his 100th career win last month, becoming the third winningest singles player in Wake Forest history and only the fourth player to ever achieve the feat in the Demon Deacons’ men's tennis program.
Parr has had an outstanding senior year to date. Among his highights, he earned the first national title in Wake Forest history last fall, teaming with Forman to win the doubles championship at the ITA National Indoors in Charlottesville, Va. The 6-foot left-hander is coming off a hot streak in recent weeks, as well, going undefeated at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles over two consecutive weeks and earning the honor of ACC Player of the Week on March 31.
Parr recently took time from his busy schedule to answer some questions for USTA.com.
USTA.com: You were one of the top recruits in the class of 2005. Why did you choose Wake Forest?
Cory Parr: I chose Wake Forest because I really liked the balance between tennis and academics. I thought that the academics at Wake, along with its competitive tennis in the ACC, fit me best. I also really liked the size of Wake, being only 5,000 students. The athletes here are like a family, and I really thought that it was special.
USTA.com: Since the juniors, you have been a top doubles player, and going into your final spring of college tennis, you have established yourself as one of the top doubles players in the country. What are some of the areas that you’ve worked on to set yourself apart?
Cory Parr: I have always really enjoyed playing doubles. Our coach really stresses the importance of doubles, and we work on it every day in practice. I think that since I have been in college, my serve-and-volley game has improved. I was also lucky enough to find a partner in Steven Forman, who has complemented me very well and has helped make us a good team.
USTA.com: You teamed with Steve Forman this fall to win the ITA National Indoors title, bringing home the first national title in the history of the program. How was that experience?
Cory Parr: Winning the National Indoors was very special. It was really nice to see how our hard work over the years has paid off. It was really great to come back to Wake and share the experience with our teammates, as well as our friends back at school. During one of our home football games, we were also honored in between quarters.
USTA.com: With doubles being an eight-game pro set during the dual-match season, a quick start is key. What kind of things do you do pre-match to make sure you start off solid?
Cory Parr: Playing an eight-game pro set is tough because anything can happen. Steve and I sometimes struggle at the start of matches, and it has hurt us a couple of times during the dual-match season. At the end of the warm up for each match, we spend time focusing on doubles. We try to play a lot of doubles points against our teammates to help better prepare us for the start of the match.
USTA.com: What are your goals for yourself and for your team this season?
Cory Parr: We have a couple of goals as a team. We want to win the ACC championship, as well as host the first two rounds of NCAA’s and make it back to the sweet 16. Individually, I want to do everything that I can to help our team achieve those goals.
USTA.com: What is a typical day like for you -- class, practice, strength and conditioning, fun?
Cory Parr: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are a little different than Tuesdays and Thursdays, but every day I have classes throughout the morning. We start practice at either 2 or 3, and then we have weights. At night, I have tutors and just relax at the house.
USTA.com: Who have been your biggest influences in your tennis career?
Cory Parr: I would have to say that my dad and my coaches from home, Lawrence Kleger and Mike Kossoff, have had the biggest influence on my tennis career. They have been great in all different ways and have been a great support system for me. They have done so much for me throughout my years in tennis.
USTA.com: Closing in on the end of your career at Wake, do you have a match that sticks out as being particularly memorable?
Cory Parr: My sophomore year, we hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. We played Clemson in the second round to get into the sweet 16. We were tied 3-3 in matches and were down 4-2 in the third set of the final match when it started to rain. At 11 p.m., our teammate Andrew Hamar clinched the win for us, 7-6, in the third set after being down a few match points. It was my greatest tennis memory here at Wake Forest and was the first time in program history that we reached the sweet 16.
USTA.com: What’s your favorite thing about college tennis?
Cory Parr: I really like playing in front of a crowd and playing for the team. I like the pressure of not only playing for yourself, but also for your teammates. It’s also nice that sometimes, even if you do not personally win, your team wins, so it is good enough.
USTA.com: What are your plans after graduation?
Cory Parr: When I graduate, I am going to try and play professionally.
USTA.com: What advice do you have for junior tennis players who want to play in college?
Cory Parr: I think that junior players should really take their time and enjoy the recruiting process. You need to find a place that you are going to enjoy for four years. Finding the right place for you academically and for your tennis is so important.