By J. Fred Sidhu, USTA.com
When 45-year-old Olivier Lorin arrived at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to play in the Men’s 5.0 USTA League National Championships, he not only represented his USTA Florida Section team, but he took the opportunity to get some work done.
Lorin, who ended 2008 as Florida’s number one ranked player in the Men’s 40s, works in sales and marketing for Information and Display Systems (IDS), one of the world’s leading providers of information and display technology for the sports industry.
Among Lorin’s accounts is the BNP Paribas Open, the first major tennis event of the season in the United States and features more than 300 of the world’s best men and women tennis players. The tournament is played every March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
“We’re heavily involved here in Indian Wells with the BNP Paribas Open,” Lorin said. “We do the technology solutions for the event.”
As account manager, Lorin oversees the technology solutions, the process which feeds data and information for television, internet, electronic displays and video for the tournament.
During the BNP Paribas Open in March, Lorin will arrive at the event for the first few days and does a walk-through with tournament director Steve Simon. “We make sure everything is good and in place and see what we can improve and enhance for the following year,” Lorin said.
While playing in the USTA National Championships, Lorin found time to meet and do business with Simon. “I took advantage of this tournament to meet with him and finalize the services for 2010,” he added.
Earlier this year, Lorin traveled to Mallorca, Spain where he reached the quarterfinals of this year’s ITF Seniors World Individual Championships in Men’s 45 singles.
On the court, Lorin likes to mix his shots up by varying the pace and he uses a slice backhand that would make tennis legend Steffi Graf proud.
On Friday, he led his Florida Section team to two victories as he won both of his singles matches in straight sets. In his first match against Alexander Howard of the USTA New England Section, Lorin fought off a set point when he was down 5-3 in the first set and went on to win 7-6, 6-1.
The USTA Florida Section came to Indian Wells with the team minimum five players as the rest of the team could not play for a variety of personal reasons. That meant that there were no substitutes. Lorin said, “We were lucky we had five guys to come.”
Lorin suffered his first defeat of the Nationals on Saturday morning when he fell to Tony Larson of the USTA Northern Section, 7-5, 6-1. His serve was hampered by a strained nerve in his neck.
However, the USTA Florida Section swept both doubles matches in straight sets to edge the USTA Northern Section 2-1 and improve their record to 3-0.
As Lorin left the court, a teammate called out to him, “We’ve got your back. That’s why they call it a team sport.”
Despite his singles loss, Lorin was confident about his team’s chances of advancing to Sunday’s semifinals.
Lorin says his motto is Hakuna Matata, which translates to “Don’t worry, be happy.” He said, “I have learned to take every day as is and make the best of it, as every day is a beautiful day.”