The challenge of tennis goes deeper than physical tests, and it takes a strong athlete to
compete in this type of sport.
England native Gavin Davison, junior marketing major, is entering his third year playing
for the Francis Marion University (FMU) men’s tennis team. Davison said enjoys the feeling
that he gets from playing the game.
“I really like being thrown into the heat of battle and knowing when you need to pull
through for your teammates,” Davison said.
For the past two years, Davison played forehand, but this year he will be playing backhand.
This is proof of his versatility on the court.
Garth Thomson, head men’s and women’s tennis coach, said Davison is the type of player
that will make you work very hard to win a point against him.
“He makes very few errors and uses the whole tennis court,” Thomson said. “You have to
play one of your best points just to win a point against Gavin.”
Thomson said a lot of tennis players will give up after a set because of how hard you have to
work. Davison, however, is not one of those players. Davison said he prefers playing doubles rather than singles.
“It is great feeling when you and your partner get pumped up together,” Davison said.
Last year, Davison played doubles with Alex Caspari, who graduated. Caspari will be
replaced by freshman Richard Ashforth as Davison’s doubles partner. Davison said he is excited
to play with Ashforth this season because they “gel” well together.
Davison added that there are some aspects of singles that he enjoys.
“What I love about singles is when you have a tight match and it becomes a battle of fitness,
not abilities.” His goal for this season is to lead the team in the No. 1 position.
“I want to help the boys stay focused so we can beat some of our major rivals this year,”
Davison has achieved many accomplishments during his first two years at FMU. During his
freshman year, Davison and Caspari received the title of All American for doubles. He was also
ranked eighth in doubles for NCAA Division II for that year. Last year, Davison and Caspari
were ranked 12th in doubles for NCAA Division II.
Davison attended Armstrong Atlantic State University during his freshman year and
transferred to FMU, and he did not play collegiate tennis until he arrived at FMU.
During his pre-collegiate career in England, Davison was ranked No. 1 for U16 and also won
North England U16 and U18 for doubles. In 2008, he won the Spring Court Nationals in
England at the age of 16. He has played tennis tournaments in several countries including Turkey, Austria, all of the
United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and France.