Name: Kristina Sanjevic
Year: 5th Year
Major: Kinesiology / Recreation
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Regardless of what happens this weekend at the Canadian University Tennis Championships, Kristina Sanjevic of the University of Alberta Pandas will go down as one of the most successful athletes in Canadian University Tennis history.
Her near-flawless record over a 5-year tenure with the University of Alberta will be hard to beat. She has lead her team to 5 Western Atlantic University Championships and two national championship titles. Individually, she holds an almost perfect win-loss record, she has been named Team Captain, Team MVP and most recently, Athlete of the Year earning the prestigious Bakewell Trophy at the University of Alberta. And while most seniors are focused on squeaking through the last of their final exams, Sanjevic still pushes herself to achieve more.
We had a chance to talk to Sanjevic ahead of her final visit to the Canadian University Tennis Championships.
The Pandas have had a very successful tennis program for a very long time. What do you think makes your program successful?
I credit our coaches. They have built a program that has a history of being successful. New players see our success and want to be part of it. I owe a lot to our head coach, Russ Sluchinski. He drives us to be better and keep training. He has given our team so many opportunities including travelling to places like Idaho and Vancouver. He also put my name forward for the CISU games in 2013 where I had the chance to travel to Russia. He is constantly pushing me to be my best and make sure that I am training throughout the year. He keeps our whole team accountable.
What is your favourite thing about university tennis?
As cliché as sounds, it really is the team aspect. Through juniors, you are just worrying about yourself. I enjoy winning but I love wining as a team more. In the team environment, if I win, that’s great, but I would want my team to win above me winning. Honestly, I just love my team.
What are your team goals this year at the Canadian University Tennis Championships?
We would like to get gold again. We have a similar team to last year and we followed the same training regime. We put in the same amount of practice and spent time bonding on and off the court. We think it was a recipe for success last year and we believe that we have the ability to do it again.
You have had such a successful career with the Pandas program already. What would one more national title mean to you?
It would be another thing that I’ll never forget. Last year when we won, I kept thinking that nothing could beat that moment. It was like a dream come true. It has kept me motivated all year. I want to finish with good grades and do well but this is really important to me. It would just be a great way to finish.