Senior Jeremy Wurtzman is the No. 3-ranked singles player in the country.

Senior Jeremy Wurtzman, the No. 3-ranked singles player in the country, and freshman Joey Atas, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, were available to answer questions during a live chat at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on The Ohio State men’s tennis team travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend to begin play in the 2004 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament. The Buckeyes face South Carolina in round one. Wurtzman, a first team All-Big Ten selection, is the No. 3 seed in the singles championship and will team with Atas in the NCAA doubles tournament.

Laura (Columbus): This question is for Joey Atas. You are from Baltimore, and is it tough to be away from you family and your friends, or does the constant travel for the tennis make it easier for you?
Joey: welcome, thanks for joining us. Sometimes it’s tough being away from my family and friends from back home, but the guys on the team are like my brothers. But playing the matches makes the time go faster.
Jason Homorody: This is for Jeremy? Are you going to find it hard to play singles and doubles at the nationals? This is for Joey? Is there anytime during your freshman year you felt the pressure of having to play college tennis?
Jeremy: I feel that it will be tough as the tournament goes on because there will be so many mathches, but I feel that I have prepared myself good.
Joey: This is for Jason’s question, I fealt pressure because i wasn’t used to playing for a team. I couldn’t just win for me, I had to do it for my team, which was different at first. But now I enjoy playiny for a team.
Kelsey, N.J.: Jeremy, First, congrats on a great season. Second, how will playing in the Round of 16 a year ago, help the team this year. What can you tell the younger guys about your experiences in team tournament play?
Jeremy: I feel that the experience of us playing last year will help us tremendously this year. We now believe we can get there and hopefully make it farther this year. Basically I have been telling our younger guys that every team wants to win at the NCAA tournament so it will be very intense.
Karen (Columbus): Jeremy and Joey – How did each of you start playing tennis? And at what age did you begin?
Joey: Joey: I started playing when i was 3. My brother used to go out with my dad and I would tag along. Jeremy: I also started playing tennis at 3. The way I started was I always followed my brother with whatever sport he was playing and he then got into tennis so I started playing and have not stopped.
Chuck, Columbus: Jeremy, Ohio State has been successful the last several years, what does the team have to do to continue moving up among the ranks of the elite programs nationally.
Jeremy: We first have to try and continue getting the great recruits that we have gotten this year and also continue to compete and work hard in practice.
Jim, Washington, D.C.: Joey, How does Big Ten tennis compare with opponents you’ve faced while growing up in the East?
Joey: The Big Ten Tennis seems to be a lot stronger right now then the competition back in the East because most of the people I play are older then me.
cleveland: jeremy:it seems you do really well in the osu bubble but outdoors you have lost to alot of good players throughout your career .have you done anything different to play better outdoors?
Jeremy: I have had great success at the West Rec. It really helps to have the advantage of playing in there every day. The adjustment from indoor to outdoor has been tough but I feel that this year we have played outside a lot more because of nice weather then years past. This should help me prepare for the tournament and hopefully beat some of the guys that I lost to outdoors before.
Molly (columbus): You guys seem like you’re really fast and strong compared to other schools. What do you attribute that to?
Jeremy: The main reason is because of the great staff that we have from the strength and conditioning department. Our coach has helped tremendously in getting stronger and faster.
Doug Snapp Columbus: This is for Joey: As a freshman, how prepared have the Big Ten matchesmade you for the NCAA?
Joey: Most of the top teams in the Big Ten have helped me prepare for the NCAA. And the team competition has helped me mentally.
Donavon: This question is for Jeremy Wurtzman. How do you feel playing with a freshman who has four years less experience in college double then you, although he was the big ten freshman of the year?
Donavon: This question is for Jeremy Wurtzman. How do you feel playing with a freshman who has four years less experience in college double then you, although he was the big ten freshman of the year?
Jeremy: Well it really didnt feel like I was playing with a freshman because of how far along Joey is in his game. He might not have a lot of college experience but he got used to it very quickly.
Alex (Cincinnati): Jeremy–You have been ranked among the top players in singles all year..what has it been like defending your ranking all season. Have you seen your opponent’s best efforts? Has the ranking been an advantage mentally for you and maybe a disadvantage for your opponents?
Jeremy: It has been pretty difficult going into every match knowing you have to win or your ranking will go down. I feel that I got used to it pretty fast and was able to not let it get in the way of improving my game. I feel that many players played as good as they could and never seem to give up like they did in the past. I also played the #1 position every match so that was tough because I had not done that in the past.
Keith (Delaware): Jeremy and Joey, good luck this weekend… when you go from singles to doubles, is there anything about your game or philosophy that you change? Do you try to be just as aggressive or is there more thinking and game-planning?
Joey: I don’t change my style very much for singles or doubles because I like to attack and come in. We try to be aggressive and play as a team in doubles.
Susan-Baltimore: Was it an easy adjustment to your pairing w/Atas at#1 doubles?He fit into the group fast it looks?
Jeremy: It was very easy adjustment because he was already a great doubles player. I feel that he improved a lot in the fall also. It did not take him much time to get used to college tennis which is amazing because many freshman take at least a year to play at their best ability.
Jeremy: Thanks alot for submitting your questions. We hope that we answered them correctly. Sorry if we could not get to all of them today.