Senior tennis player Wena Tsan has made her mark at MSU as a successful student and athlete. The Kuching, Malaysia native is majoring in business marketing, and was awarded the Women’s Tennis Sportsmanship award as a junior.
Like many successful athletes, Tsan started playing tennis at a young age. She officially started playing at age nine but had her first on-court experience at age seven. She was influenced by her uncle, a division doubles champion who suggested her parents put their three daughters in tennis lessons. Tsan ultimately decided to follow in one of her older sister’s footsteps and came to MSU to play at the collegiate level on a full-ride tennis scholarship. In terms of her preference for doubles and singles, she says “I like doubles just because I’m really good at the net. But I like singles too because I can control the points better. Singles is kind of lonely, but I kind of like the pressure and I enjoy the crowd watching me play.”
Tsan said she has dealt with many changes coming to the United States from Malaysia. Malaysia is a conservative country, which caused for a switch-up as she became surrounded by different mindsets at MSU. “Coming from a very conservative nation, I have learned to be very open-minded, to look at a situation from every perspective, and have respect for others to get respect in return. That is especially important when you spend every day with teammates that are from all over the world. Without that compromise and willingness to learn from others, I couldn’t have survived three and half years with nine girls,” she said.
Another ongoing challenge she has dealt with is finding a balance between tennis and school. She has had great success in finding this balance with the highest GPA on the women’s team, though not without developing the right mentality. “Being so far away from home, the balance between school and tennis is often times difficult, but not impossible. That challenge and competing in tennis has made me very mentally tough.”
When not competing on the court, Tsan says she enjoys hanging out with friends she rarely sees. She elaborates saying her non student-athlete friends are the ones who help keep her grounded and indulge her in the college experience away from athletics. She adds, “Sometimes, I just enjoy having free time to myself by watching movies and TV shows. I love New Girl. I watch Revenge, Suits and White Collar. I like comedy movies, romantic comedies and some thriller/suspense movies.”
Aside from enjoying this well-deserved free time, Tsan looks ahead to her post-graduation goal of finding a marketing-related job here in the States. In the short term, she and her teammates will be playing at home on April 4 against Eastern Washington.