Photo: Dominic Johnson
Name: Ben Mullis
Major: Law, Politics and Society
Hometown: Leicestershire, England
The Times-Delphic: Why did you choose LPS?
Mullis: I took business, law and psychology classes back home, and I really liked the law aspect, so I wanted to go into that field here.
TD: What brought you to Drake to play college tennis?
BM: Coach Evan Austin got in touch with me and recruited me. So I was talking with him, and I also knew Robin Goodman from back home; also, (I knew) James McKie briefly as well. Those two all said good things about Drake, and I thought it would be a good fit for me. Going to a high level school while also playing tennis sounded great.
TD: Who is your favorite professional tennis player right now?
BM: Rafa Nadal. He is just an absolute warrior. He isn’t the most technically astute player, but he makes the most of what he’s got. His mentality on the court has got to be respected by everyone on tour.
TD: Who is your favorite tennis player of all time?
BM: John McEnroe. I just loved his never-say-die attitude on the court. Even if he didn’t portray himself in the best ways, he did what he needed to win on the court.
TD: What is your favorite memory you have of playing tennis?
BM: It’s always good when you win for yourself, but when you win for the team, it can be even more powerful. There was a big week of matches for Leicestershire, where I was representing my county, and we got promoted because we were unbeaten over the five days. We got promoted to Group 3. We beat Cambridgeshire, where Robin is from, and Nottinghamshire, South Wales and North of Scotland. All the guys were so pumped, and it was just really great.
TD: What match are you most excited for this year?
BM: The thought of playing in the NCAA (Tournament) is exciting, so the conference tournament is what I’m looking forward to the most. To win the conference tournament, and then play the top teams and hopefully take a few down along the way would be unbelievable.
TD: What is your greatest weapon on the tennis court?
BM: I’d say my mental skill. I’m good at keeping calm when I’m not playing too great. And when I’m on top, I can stay on top and be very positive on court. That, and my physical game as well. Rather than having a massive forehand or big shot like that, I just wear opponents down.
TD: What is your favorite thing about Drake so far?
BM: The unlimited amount of food in Hubbell has to be up there. I also like the training room. With the whole rehab side of the sport, they look after you pretty well here.
TD: What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed between the U.S. and the U.K.?
BM: People’s sense of humor is vastly different. You can say something here, and you know your friends back home would find it quite funny, but you might hear the tumbleweeds in the background here.
TD: After having sealed the last two Drake victories (over DePaul and Denver), McKie called you Ben “The Clinch” Mullis. What do you think about that nickname?
BM: I’d like to be able to maintain that reputation over the course of the season. Hopefully, I’ll be clinching many matches over this season and my four years at Drake.