Athlete brings energy to team

When junior tennis player Ana Cetnik takes to the court, she brings a contagious energy, head coach Dave Borelli said.”She’s like a battery for our team,” Borelli said. “She charges us up.”

Cetnik, who began playing tennis as a 6-year-old in Serbia, says this energy comes from her mental toughness that she brings to the game.

“On the court, I am mentally very strong,” Cetnik said. “When I’m losing, I can be positive to myself and come back on top to win.”

Teammate and double’s partner Helena Besovic, a senior for the Lady Frogs, said Cetnik’s energy and esteem contribute to the strength of the TCU team as a whole.

“She loves to compete and is able to come back and win, even when she is down,” Besovic said. “We always know we can count on her.”

Cetnik, 23, said that when she came to TCU in the spring of 2004, during her freshman year, her game developed and allowed her to become a better overall player.

“My tennis became more mature when I joined the TCU team,” Cetnik said. “By being part of a team, I also became more mature tennis-wise.”

Prior to coming to TCU, Cetnik had been playing tennis in Serbia, though she did not get to practice as often as she would have liked, due to difficulties facing her country.

“My country was at war so I didn’t even get to practice but once or twice a week from when I was 8 until I was 10,” she said. “I didn’t get to start practicing everyday until I was 11 years old.”

Borelli said he heard of Cetnik through one of the TCU men’s team players and then saw that she was always highly ranked. He said he also saw some qualities in her that made her stand out as a player and as a person.

“Her attitude is extremely unusual in that she doesn’t get very upset,” Borelli said. “She has this perspective of competing and enjoying the moment. She has a presence, and she truly thrives under pressure.”

Borelli also said Cetnik is able to make light of even the most stressful situations.

“She has a great ability to laugh in the most crucial time,” he said. “She has a lot of spirit and a real understanding of competition and energy.”

Cetnik said she loves to bring such energy and zest to the TCU tennis team.

“There is more cheering now and people being positive all the time,” Cetnik said. “I didn’t see this in my first year here, and now we do it all as a team, and I like to think that I helped bring this.”

Cetnik also said that she has adjusted well to life in America and has come to enjoy the time she has spent here.

“It took some time to adjust because everything is so different here,” she said. “People are more individualistic. I had to adjust to living and being alone and also had to eat different foods. It’s prepared and cooked differently here than in my country.”

She said that she also misses her family, though she is able to communicate with them often via text messaging, e-mails, calling, and sending pictures.

“In my country, people are very close to their families, so it is hard to be away from them,” Cetnik said. “I miss them, but I do talk to them very often.”

Cetnik, a merchandising fashion major, said she enjoys TCU because it is small and private, so there is a lot of opportunity to run into people frequently on campus.

“Most people are in multiple classes together and you are able to make friends faster,” she said.

Though Cetnik said she would possibly like to some day play professional tennis, she said she would also like to pursue a career selling for a store or being a store manager in the fashion arena, which she would do in America.

“I have the opportunity to stay one year after I graduate, so I will be here at least that long for sure,” Cetnik said.

As for now, however, the energetic power-server said she is going to focus on this season’s tennis and advancing as far as she can, which she said hopefully will be to the NCAA Tournament. She said one way in which she will do this is with one of the strongest points of her game: her volleys and forehand.

“They are very good and always go in the right spot,” she said. “They listen to me.