By Nick Bernal
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Colorado’s Franziska Jendrian is quickly becoming one of the most decorated and successful tennis players in school history. With her senior season on the horizon, CU’s all-time winningest doubles player looks to establish herself as prolific threat in the singles lineup.
“Finishing second (in singles play) would just be a reward for me giving everything and working as hard as I’ve worked over these last four years,” Jendrian said. “It’s just recognition for me, it’s not a goal of mine but if it happens then it will be a great recognition.”
When asked what it was about doubles play that makes her so successful, Jendrian was quick to point out that she enjoys the ability to play and work with a teammate.
“The thing I most enjoy about doubles is that it differs from singles play and how you approach it. The best part is that you get to play with a teammate, you’re always a part of the team but usually you’re on the court by yourself. Doubles gives you that team aspect where you’re working with someone on the court.”
The fourth-year senior is originally from Rodleben, Germany. She mentioned that for European players, it’s kind of a “luck-of-the-draw” type of thing when choosing the right school to attend in the United States. Because Europe is such a competitive and diverse culture, she noted that athletes don’t always get the same recruitment as the local prospects do. However, it wasn’t a coincidence that she ended up in Boulder.
“The U.S. provides a great opportunity to combine competitive tennis and great schooling,” Jendrian explained. “I knew I wanted to do both of those things after high school so I pursued it. I heard a lot of great things about Colorado from both the athletic and academic sides of things.”
Franzi, as she is often referred to, loves playing tennis at CU for many reasons, some of which you may not expect. While she doesn’t lose sight of the fact that it involves a significant amount of extra work, she enjoys the added challenge of balancing school and tennis.
“To me, the best part is being able to be a part of our great team, great tradition and the family that (the team) has created at CU. Not just my teammates and coaches, but everyone that is here that has helped me during my time here, throughout the athletic department and the University. They have become a part of my life here and have played a huge role in my ability to play tennis here,” she noted.
With Big 12 play beginning last weekend, Jendrian said that the team has made significant strides during the non-conference play, and is looking forward to moving into the heart of the conference season.
“Generally the season has started off pretty solid; not great, but not bad. During the pre-conference season we got to know some of the things we needed to work on before Big 12 play and we were able to work on them,” Jendrian said. “I’m very excited to start the Big 12 Conference season; it is what you work for throughout the summer, fall and pre-conference session. So you’re ready for Big 12’s and the conference season is all about winning. You have to find ways to get those close matches because everyone in the conference is so good that you aren’t going to have any freebies.”
Jendrian is the lone senior on the team this season. When asked what goals she’s set for the team, she said that she wanted to lead by example and have her individual goals carry over to team success.
“My biggest individual goal is to use my last season to play my best tennis,” Jendrian explained. “I want to be the best player I am capable of being, giving more than 100 percent every time because this is it now. As far as our team goals go, we want to win the Big 12 and to make it to the NCAA Tournament by playing our best.”
In addition to being a standout athlete, Jendrian is also an exceptional student. She will graduate in May with a master’s degree in accounting. She is a three-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection.
When asked what her plans were after graduation, Jendrian said that she is working on solidifying a job but is planning on staying in the U.S.
“My plan is to work in the professional world of accounting, and I will continue to play tennis as much as I can.”
Potentially the most impressive honor that Jendrian is closing in on is becoming CU’s all-time total wins leader, which combines victories in both singles and doubles competition. She is currently 80-44 in singles and 72-38 in doubles, giving her a career record of 152-80. The senior is a mere two wins away from earning the title of the winningest women’s tennis player in Colorado history.
When told she was so close to earning that distinction, Jendrian said she was unaware of the achievement, but honored none-the-less.
“What has helped me is just determination, discipline, fight and work hard,” Jendrian said. “Having the right attitude is important; those are all characteristics that I value a lot and have helped me become the tennis player that I am today. But without the help of all my teammates and coaches that I’ve had here, none of this would be possible.”