July 1, 2013
I got the scoop on rising senior and ITA All-American Ryan Lipman as he plays in France with his brother, Maxx, this summer. Ryan finished his junior season ranked No. 10 in the country, and is excited for his final season with the Commodores. In the meantime, he is enjoying tough competition and new experiences (and food) while living in France for six weeks.
(Ryan Lipman, left, tennis instructor Romain Launé, middle, and Kentucky player Tom Jomby, right, pose for a photo in France.)
Liz Anderson: You're in France right now playing tennis. What made you decide to go there this summer? How is the competition?
Ryan Lipman: We decided to go to France because we were in need of something different to do in the summer. We heard there were great tournaments and made the decision to have a mini-Euro trip. The competition here has been really tough, which is exactly what we were hoping for.
LA: Your brother, Maxx, is also with you. What have you been up to?
RL: Yep, Maxx is here and we are having a blast together. Honestly, we haven't had much downtime, so aside from playing tennis, we've been pretty boring so far.
LA: Rumor has it that he is a stud on the court as well. Is he better than you?
RL: Haha. Where did you hear that?! No, I'm kidding, he's a stud. It's unfortunate that I couldn't convince him to come to Vandy, but he's playing the best I've seen him play, which is awesome. I think I've still got the upper hand on him, but I think he'd beg to differ. I'll always have the advantage of being the older Lipman though.
LA: Besides playing tennis, have you had the chance to travel?
RL: We haven't had too much time to sightsee because we've been at the tournament site most of the days. We did spend a few days at a friend's house [Tom Jomby], who is from Paris and plays tennis at the University of Kentucky. It was awesome because we got home-cooked meals.
LA: How is the food?
RL: The food has been good; it's just different than the States. There are no big breakfasts; you can expect bread and croissants in the morning with a hard-boiled egg, if you're lucky. For lunch, we've had ham and cheese sandwiches, and for dinner, pasta and barbecue. The best thing I've had so far was a French dish called galette, which was served for dinner. It was a crepe folded over with a fried egg, ham, cheese and cream in it. So good!
LA: What's the most interesting thing you have experienced in Europe?
RL: The most interesting thing that has happened so far actually happened tonight at dinner. We hadn't eaten all day because we were trying to figure out the train system, which is a whole other story in itself, but we finally sat down at an Italian place to have dinner and I ordered a pizza called Thon. The description said tomatoes, mozzarella and caprese. I thought it was going to be similar to a fresh margherita pizza, but I was wrong. The waiter came to our table and gave Maxx his pepperoni pizza and then said "one tuna pizza." I was like, "What the heck have I done? No way can I eat this." It actually turned out to be edible, so I sucked it up and finished it, also in part because the waiter spoke very little English and I don't speak French.
LA: You just finished an incredible year at Vanderbilt. What are you most proud of in regards to last season?
RL: Thank you. As a team, I think we are most proud of how we finished the season. We accomplished some things that haven't been done in a decade at Vanderbilt and that was truly special: hosting NCAAs, advancing to the Sweet 16 and finishing in the top 15 was awesome for us as a program. We are thrilled to have done that, but aren't satisfied because we know that we are bringing back the same group of guys next year and are looking to improve upon this past season.
LA: What are you looking forward to in the upcoming season? Do you have any specific goals for the team or as an individual?
RL: For next year, I couldn't give you exact goals because we will figure those out at the start of the fall, but I think winning the SEC would be on there because that was one of our goals this past year. Since it's my last year, I'm just excited to go out on a high note and hope to leave this program in a position to where it can continue to succeed for years to come.
Summer Scoop Archive
Women's Cross Country/Track: Rebecca Chandler
Men's Basketball: Shelby Moats