Big Ten Men’s Tennis Player of the Year as a sophomore. Big Ten Men’s Tennis Rookie of the Year. Two-time First-Team All Big Ten.
These are just a few of the accolades Andrew Fenty has received in his two years as a Wolverine. But entering his junior year, Fenty is long past relishing in his personal accomplishments. His eyes are set squarely on two goals: his professional career and bringing a Big Ten Championship back to Michigan for the first time since 1996.
From early on, Fenty’s athletic prowess was evident. He played baseball, basketball, football, swimming, golf and tennis. His 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame served him well in each sport.
However, as a teenager, he developed into a phenomenal tennis player, and by high school, he was solely focused on tennis.
“Tennis is a big solving your own problems (sport) … it’s a challenge,” Fenty said. “Not only are you running, but you’re thinking. It’s like chess.”
This combination of passion and extensive talent led to a prestigious high school career.
He was a five-star blue-chip recruit out of Laurel Springs High School in Washington, D.C. He had the option of attending practically any university in the country, but selected Michigan because he saw it as the perfect “balance of academics and athletics.” He also believed joining Michigan’s tennis team offered unmatched opportunities to grow a program and his status as a collegiate athlete.
“Michigan wasn’t ranked that high,” Fenty said. “They had everything to be a good team: good coaches, good facilities and lots of money, but they weren’t that high. I felt needed on this team and I felt I was going to be a part of something special.”
In Fenty’s two seasons with the Wolverines, he’s achieved nearly everything a collegiate athlete works towards.
Last season, Fenty went 11-4 as the top singles player on the team and was ranked the No. 16 collegiate men’s tennis player in the country. As a doubles tandem with senior Mattias Siimar, the two went 13-2 and at one point were the second-ranked collegiate doubles team in the country. But he doesn’t think like most collegiate athletes.
“I’ve only been here for one and a half years, and you can look at everything we accomplished, but it goes beyond collegiate tennis,” Fenty said. “… I think about what pros are doing right now and what they are achieving.”
He knows he’ll play professional tennis. The more relevant question is when. With all of the uncertainty around collegiate sports due to COVID-19, Fenty’s not certain about the specifics of the upcoming season, but the recent Big Ten football announcement gives him more confidence it will occur. Regardless, his demanding schedule stays the same: multiple hours of practicing, lifting and recovering on top of classes.
His individual and team goals, too, remain the same. He wants to lead the team to a Big Ten Championship, and he wants to advance his status in the sport to help with his professional career.
“(The awards are) cool, but I have bigger goals,” Fenty said. “… (My goal) is to be the best. To be number one.”