Learning a new sport can be challenging, but what if you were trying to build your skills while also navigating a new country and adapting to a new language at the same time? For IMG Academy student-athlete Top Nidunjianzan, tennis came naturally. His drive and focus continues to help him be successful and both on and off the court.
Top wasn’t alone on this journey. His IMG English teacher, Stephanie Sifrit, saw his potential. “When I first met Top, he was 11 years old,” Sifrit explains. “He was a little boy who was here to learn English and to try to develop his skills in tennis. He quickly became part of the family.”
This embrace helped Top become more comfortable and to settle in. “She felt like a mom, you know,” Top says. “She was really trying to help the students. She really cares for them."
While Top continued to excel in school, he also took this new confidence to the court. His IMG tennis coach, Filip Kraljevic, immediately saw his talents. “His play style is really aggressive,” Filip explains. “He recently played a tournament where he passed the qualifiers and then won a few rounds, so that was really good to see him win some pro matches.”
As Top heads off to Princeton, he leaves behind a legacy of success at IMG. His father gave him some sage advice to guide him on his journey. “My dad always told me that you do well in school because that will help tennis.” Top says. “At the moment, I was like, ‘What do you mean that will help tennis?’ But throughout the years, I tried to do really well in school because all my peers wanted to do well, so we pushed each other.”
Watch the video to learn more about how Top’s persistence and continued growth helped him succeed as a student-athlete. To sign up for a tennis camp or to learn about our boarding school programs and other offerings at IMG, click on the links below.