On a regular day, Mark Tepes is honed in on three jobs, and all of them are very, very different.
There’s his day job as Vice President at the New Jersey-based Peterson Service Company. Then there’s being a husband, and a father of three. A highly-competitive tennis player, he wraps up his schedule with training and practice.
For the third straight year, Tepes will represent the United States in the ITF Seniors World Team Championships. He’ll again compete against other top players from around the world as a member of the Italia Cup team, and this year has the honor of being named captain.
The event is set for April 21-26.
“After finishing last year, I still had an interest in doing it again,” Tepes said. “I really wanted to get a shot at captaining the team and competing in it again. It’s exciting to have this honor.”
There’s another bonus, as well. After being held in Antalya, Turkey last year, this spring’s event will be held on U.S. soil in Boca Raton, Fla. That means for the first time, his entire family can be on hand to watch.
“That’s the best thing about being on U.S. soil,” he said. “My wife and three kids will be there and we’ll all rent a house. That week the kids are already off for spring break, so it works out.”
Even with all of the excitement, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Tepes recently amped up his training on the court and in the gym, and plans to be in prime condition when play begins.
“I’m going pretty hard with training and conditioning, and then will go extra hard for a few weeks in March,” he said. “I’ll taper off and rest a little bit in April, and be ready to go.”
Tepes said he expects his experience over the past two years to be a major bonus this year. It also helps that it takes place on Har-Tru courts – a surface he grew up competing on.
“There are always nerves, but most of them are gone now,” he said. “I know what the setup of the tournament is and what to expect. I know the countries we’re competing against. We have familiar faces on the team, and all of those things add up to be more relaxed and better prepared.”
A former high school star and collegiate standout at Virginia Tech, Tepes’ tennis resume includes a USTA indoor championship, among other high-level tournament victories. He’s been a staple in Middle States and national competition for years.
Tepes didn’t rule out competitive play over the next few years, but did mention that his most important job – family – is gearing up. Luckily for him, that still involves time on the court.
“My kids are growing up now, it’s important I’m around,” he said. “It’s nice to see that they’re taking an interest in playing.”
Additional information on ITF competition can be found here.