Christina Rosca is a 25-year-old professional tennis player born in New Jersey and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. She played 5 years of college tennis at Vanderbilt, was a Two Time All-American, and, had an ITA Singles High ranking of #8 in singles, and #9 in doubles. She received her master’s degree while completing her fifth year of eligibility at Vanderbilt and is now on the pro tour. Christina is currently ranked #167 in doubles and #528 in singles on the WTA tour with 9 ITF doubles titles to date.
- Can you talk about your childhood? How was tennis introduced to you? When did you start taking it seriously? Did you play any other sports?
My parents would play tennis with each other and as an only child, I wanted to be the center of attention and run onto the court. I was not very serious about tennis, I did not start playing any tournaments until I was 11. I never played any other sports when I was little, I think that because it was such a good pathway to get into really good academic schools we stuck with it. I played piano as well.
- Did you play in many junior tournaments?
I did. I was not very good early on. I lost all 4 matches during my first 12 and under super national tournament. I think around my sophomore year of high school I started to get a lot better. I was ranked around 40-50 in my class on Tennisrecruiting. I think I won one singles national level 2 tournament during my whole junior career.
- Do you find more success in doubles? Does it come more naturally to you?
I have generally been more successful in doubles than in singles, except for college. It comes more naturally to me and I love to volley. I have always found it very exciting and fast-paced.
- What did your recruiting process look like and what led you to play tennis at Vanderbilt?
I visited 7 schools during my junior year of high school. They were all unofficial visits because at the time you could only take official visits when you were a senior. Academics were my priority, but I also really wanted a high level of tennis. I wanted coaches that would invest in me and spend a lot of time with me on the court. In high school, I had to bounce around coaches a lot. I was choosing between Princeton, Dartmouth, and Vanderbilt. I loved the coaches at the other schools as well but I felt that Vanderbilt was the better fit as it had what I wanted to study. I remember a teammate of mine told me on my visit to Vanderbilt that the premed program did not feel cutthroat and that was important to me as well.
- What was your biggest obstacle in college? How did you overcome it?
The academic load was difficult in the beginning but I was more comfortable academically than I thought I would be. It was tough to balance it with tennis because I wanted to play tennis all the time at school.
- What was your favorite memory of college tennis? What went through your head when you clinched against #2 Ohio state?
I have a few. In my freshman year when we won the SEC tournament. I was playing #3 singles against the Two Time SEC player of the year. I ended up winning 6-4 in the third set. Also going to the NCAA Championships in my sophomore year and when I clinched against Ohio State during my junior year right before Covid.
- How did that confidence to be the last match to finish come about?
I have thought a lot about that in college. I didn’t have that confidence at the beginning of my freshman year. I believe something about my level of preparation and extra training almost gave me more calmness and mentally I was strong. I always told myself I was stronger mentally during my matches.
- When did you know you wanted to become a professional tennis player? Did Vanderbilt help set you up for that?
My college coaches are still helping coach me a bit. They care about me so much and they helped me improve so much in college. I would not be playing pro currently without them. I do not have the money to hire a coach to travel with me to tournaments. During my junior year of college, I started to think I can play tennis after I graduated. I got All-American status and that made me realize it is not a crazy idea to try going pro. When Covid cut the season short my senior year I had a hip issue and I was not sure if I would be able to play but I got lucky with how I recovered. I played my 5th year and got my master’s degree and then turned pro.
- What was the most formidable challenge you had to overcome when turning professional?
I started playing when there were not a lot of tournaments on the calendar. I was trying to get my ranking points and it was tough because high-level players were playing the small 15k tournaments. It’s tough to string together a few consecutive days in a row of good matches too. It’s a challenge to compete well every day, not just on match days.
- What has been your favorite country to travel to and play in?
Some of the European tournaments were in really cool places but I did not play well at those tournaments. I’d say the most interesting place I played was South Africa.
- You are currently top 200 in doubles and 528 in singles, do you plan to continue to play singles? Would you ever become a doubles-only player?
I would say I am close to having to make that choice. My partner and I are starting to get into the WTA tournaments and I might be able to sneak into the qualifying of singles in those tournaments. I am not ready to give up on singles yet but that may be a choice I have to make in the near future.
- Do you have any goals for the rest of 2022? What does the calendar look like for the rest of the year?
There are a few tournaments in South America and then I will be done for the year. I definitely believe in goal setting, I think it is important. It is hard for me to set result-oriented goals because then I get focused on the results. I try and go out and improve a little bit each time I play. I would love to do well enough in some of these tournaments to finish top 150 in doubles. If I could crack the top 500 as well that would be great.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to a girl wanting to go pro after college?
Be diligent when choosing what college you want to go to. There is more to life than just tennis. Really do your research and pick an environment, coaches, and team culture that is all very conducive to helping you improve your tennis game so that you are ready to play pro tennis. I think that college can help you realize that you want to play pro after graduating but I believe that it can also hurt those aspirations if you do not have good coaches. When doing your research look at the current and past players and see if their rankings have improved from start to finish during their college careers. I know rankings are not always accurate but if you can look at a bunch of different players that will help.