Hadyn Fava just needed a little time off. A year later, he's refocused on one of his first loves.
Fava recently completed his first season of college tennis at NAIA member Dalton State. The former Heritage standout and three-time Best of Preps honoree was 20-3 in singles, playing the No. 5 and No. 6 position for the Roadrunners, who finished 13-6 in their first season as a program.
Today, he will get his first opportunity to play in the Tennessee Valley Open Championships at Manker Patten. The tournament will start this afternoon at 3 with first-round matches in the Men's Open Singles division; play in other divisions begins Thursday morning.
Fava played No. 1 singles all four seasons for the Generals, helping them to a Region 7-AAAA runner-up finish in 2012. After graduation, he spent a year as a student at Kennesaw State before coming to DSC, which began its program at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
"I thought the year went great," Fava said Tuesday. "I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but I thought the time off was good because I came back and was hungry. I missed the game that year. It's pretty easy to get overworked with practices, tournaments and travel, but I was able to reassess my game and my priorities and came back with a newer, fresher mindset."
He enters the tournament with no expectations. His first-round opponent is former Chattanooga Christian standout Will Reynolds, who competed at the University of Georgia.
Fava looks at the TVOC as an opportunity to get some extra valuable experience that could lead into his next season playing for the Roadrunners.
"I recognize some of the names [in the draws]," Fava said. "By no means am I looking to take anything other than a match at a time. When I look at the quality of these guys' games - their match records - I definitely don't have huge expectations.
"I'm just looking forward to competing to the best of my ability."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.