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Gabashvili Q&A: I Am A Phoenix

Teymuraz Gabashvili

Gabashvili© Teymuraz GabashviliTeymuraz Gabashvili earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Phoenix.

The list of ATP World Tour players to embrace higher education recently added its latest member.

Majoring in psychology, Teymuraz Gabashvili earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Phoenix in collaboration with the ATP's scholarship program, completing the online curriculum on 19 October. The Russian is the third player to graduate from this continuing education programme, joining Brazil's Marcio Torres (Masters in Exercise and Sports Science) and Michael Russell (Bachelors in Business Administration).

ATPWorldTour.com caught up with Gabashvili to discuss his reasons for enrolling in the programme, the impact of earning a degree and more…

What prompted you to take part in ATP's partnership with the University of Phoenix? Was getting a higher education always something you wanted to do?
To have a higher education in my home country, Russia, is an important factor for having a successful career. I decided to take this amazing opportunity that the ATP provided together with the University of Phoenix to get my degree by having a full scholarship. Opportunities like this are not open every day, so I thought that I had to take it. This was a chance for me to obtain higher education while being a pro tennis player with a tough schedule of travelling a lot. Doing online classes is the best opportunity for tennis players to get a degree, I think.
 
Which class did you get the most out of?
One of the most beneficial classes for me was Life Span Human Development. This class was about exploring the factors that influence the changes that happen to people throughout their life span (personality, social, intellectual, and physical development). 
 
How does it feel to be done, knowing your hard work is rewarded with the conferring of a degree at the university level?
Having a higher degree makes me feel more confident because I know that it will be very beneficial and helpful for future jobs. American university diplomas are highly recognised in many parts of the world, which makes it even more valuable for me. 
 
Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you?
Yes, I would like to thank my wife, Maria Melihova for her help and support. I also want to thank all ATP members and the University of Phoenix one more time for giving me this truly amazing opportunity. 

Do you have any on-court goals for 2013?
Yes, I have a goal for 2013. Since I have dropped significantly in the rankings in 2012, I want to come back to competing at the top level.

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