PER TO BHM: Getting to know mens’ tennis standout, Australian Jake Faundez

COURTESY OF SAMFORD ATHLETICS

 

Before 9 a.m., Samford tennis standout Jake Faundez will  have already been awake for hours. The senior economics major devotes many mornings to early workouts for his team. At 6 a.m., he is working on his form and improving his game.

Meanwhile, in his hometime of Perth in Western Australia, his family is settling in for dinner at 7 p.m.

Faundez traveled from Australia to Samford in order to play tennis. At the age of 3, Faundez learned how to play the sport. He was encouraged by his father to play a non-contact sport, because of an injury he had early on in his career.

“My dad had to have knee and shoulder replacement surgery. He didn’t want me to be limited later in life because of an injury,” Faundez said.

Starting at age 6, Faundez began attending tennis camp over the summer. Through consistent determination in practice, Faundez’s passion for the sport grew immensely. As tennis camp came to a close, his goal of receiving recognition by the camp leaders diminished. Sure enough, he was awarded best player at the end of the week. One of his favorite memories growing up was bringing home his tennis certificate to his family.

As a young boy growing up in Perth, Faundez never imagined being a collegiate athlete in America, but his talents brought him here.

“I was good at tennis so I stuck to it,” Faundez said.

Leaving his family and country behind in pursuit of a dream, Faundez continues to make personal sacrifices. As exciting as it is to be thousands of miles away from home, Faundez said it can also be extremely overwhelming.

“I was unable to go home last year for my 21st birthday because of tennis practice,” he said. “The first thing I’m going to do is see my family and go to the beach.”

Following his graduation, Faundez hopes to road trip around Australia with his mother and sister. Eventually, he plans to come back to America as a full-time assistant coach and graduate student.

Madison Alexander, Sports Writer

1 comment

  1. Linda Bronson says:

    A good story Madison, so glad you got to see Australia and can recognize his sacrifice. Love you, Papa and Grandma

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