Tan Poised for Stellar Senior Campaign
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Despite suffering through an ankle injury for the better part of her junior season, TCU's Stefanie Tan still won 31 matches and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tennis Championships for the second time in her career.
As a sophomore, Tan advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament and earned all-American status, so naturally heading into her junior year she was poised to make another deep run in the postseason before her injury.
"It was a bit disappointing because I knew going in (to the NCAA tournament) I wasn't 100 percent," she said. "I was still having problems with my ankle. It was my first injury and I was down with it for four months so it really took its toll."
Now, the senior from Bishan, Singapore is setting her sights on achieving the same goals she set for herself during her junior season and even surpassing them. She has the goal of becoming a two-time all-American and advancing to the finals of the NCAA tournament in her final season as a Frog.
"Last year I was down a little bit because of the injury, which really didn't help my training," she said. "I didn't get to train as much as I like to, so now I am feeling pretty healthy and I am good to go."
Tan, who began playing tennis in Singapore at the age of 4 under the tutelage of her uncle, will be playing in the International Tennis Federation stop this week in Fort Worth, and she'll feel right at home because the competition will be held at Bayard H. Freidman Tennis Center.
Tan, 22, who began playing in tournaments as early as the age of 7, earned a wildcard entry into the main draw and she will play Frances Altick of the United States at 9 a.m. Wednesday. She will also play in a doubles match later in the day.
"I have trained on these courts for the last three years and I am at ease here," she said. "I want to go as far as I possibly can in the tournament and I'm hoping to make the finals. It's been a while since I played my last tournament -- maybe two months -- so I am slowly going to ease into it and hopefully build momentum."
Tan, who has 75 career wins at TCU, was a member of the 2013 and 2014 All-Big 12 Singles Teams; a member of the 2012 All-Mountain West Conference Singles Team; and the MWC Freshman of the Year. She is also a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First-Team Selection.
Those aren't bad credentials seeing that she stepped foot in the United States and on campus at TCU for the first time ever in August 2011.
"We basically looked online to see what the school was going to look like and it looked pretty nice," said Tan, who was first approached about playing tennis at TCU via a Facebook message from a former assistant coach. "I didn't come down here for a visit because it was too rushed and it was a last-minute decision. I picked it and went with it to see what happened."
Tan graduated this past year with a bachelor's degree in finance with a minor in accounting. She has begun an accelerated MBA program and hopes to graduate with her master's degree next spring.
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