Zrnic shares global training, dedication with Coppell tennis


Neveah Jones

Coppell junior Andreja Zrnic gets into position at the CHS Tennis Center during a match against Hebron on Sept. 3. Zrnic has played tennis for eight years, training at school, with his family members and with world-ranked players.

Karen Lu, Daily News/Assignment Editor

Deciding to start tennis on a whim simply because his twin was playing, Coppell High School junior Andreja Zrnic never imagined training in a foreign country eight years later with former world’s No. 8 player, Janko Tipsarevic.  

However, Zrnic found himself the past two consecutive summers attending the Tipsarevic Tennis Academy in Serbia, hitting with and learning from Tipsarevic himself. 

Zrnic started in the sports realm with soccer, but after his twin brother, CHS junior Kosta Zrnic, decided to switch to tennis eight years ago, so did he. 

“I have an older brother [CHS 2017 graduate Luka Zrnic] who used to swim,” Zrnic said. “It would have been too difficult for my mom to drive Luka to swimming, me to soccer and then Kosta to tennis, so I decided to follow him to tennis. I haven’t had any regrets so far.”

The simple decision to save gas and time led to tennis becoming a central focus in Zrnic’s life. With hours dedicated to practice during school and during his own time—whether that be hitting at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch or with his twin brother—Zrnic recognizes the importance of every match and tournament he plays as he hopes of one day playing at a Division I or Division II university.

“When I go to my state tournaments, it’s really important for me to play well and get the best results I can,” Zrnic said. “Because [of] all the tournaments I play and the results they have, they’re going to lead me to play Division I or Division II tennis hopefully.”

To further immerse himself in tennis, Zrnic began attending the Tipsarevic Tennis Academy during his summer family vacations to Serbia. By taking lessons with Tipsarevic, Zrnic was able to learn invaluable lessons and advice.

“Tipsarevic always talks about being consistent, working hard at every point and never giving up,” Zrnic said. “He said, ‘Never give up until the last ball, until you win the match.’ So I choose to always be intense in my matches, always try my hardest and hope for the best.”

Not only did training with Tipsarevic prove to be beneficial, but also the layout of Serbian courts themselves served as an advantage. In Serbia, all tennis courts are made of clay, but in the United States, the standard is hard courts, made with concrete and covered with acrylic.

“With clay courts, the ball goes slower, you need to run more and hit harder in order to get more [winning shots] to win the match,” Zrnic said. “It improved my game; when I came back to America, it helped me play on the hard courts.”

Never give up until the last ball, until you win the match.

— Janko Tipsarevic

With the various outlets for practice and the numerous hours spent honing his game, Zrnic is currently ranked No. 27 in Texas by the Head recruiting list with a Universal Tennis Rating of 10—a global rating system where tennis players are rated on a scale between 1.00 and 16.50 based on match results. The dedication and intensity Zrnic approaches tennis with is not only obvious in his numerical rankings, but also to his teammates.

“He’s really talented,” CHS junior tennis player Vinay Patel said. “His ground strokes are just really, really good. When I met him at Brookhaven, that’s the first thing I noticed about him, and it hasn’t changed since then.”

While maintaining a solid foundation for the basics in tennis, Zrnic has continued to grow and improve as  a player, both mentally and physically.

“Even just from last year, I can tell he’s grown up a little bit,” Coppell tennis coach Rich Foster said. “He’s much more focused on our practices, more focused on our matches. He’s advanced into a whole other level of play and is continuing to improve.”

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