Senior Anne Yang ‘Serves’ up Success as She Commits to Brown for Tennis


Photo Courtesy of Anne Yang

Senior Anne Yang winds up her serve during an after-school practice session. Yang typically spends two-to-three hours a day practicing in order to prepare herself for regular tournaments, alternating between private and group practice sessions.

High school athletes across the country practice hours every day with the hopes of one day making it to the top of their sports. Others spend hours locked in their rooms studying in the hopes of one day attending a prestigious Ivy League school.

For senior Anne Yang, who recently committed to Brown University for tennis, both fantasies are a reality.

“My biggest accomplishment was probably committing to Brown because, honestly, that’s the end goal I was working towards,” Yang said. “I really just wanted to find a great college academically and athletically that I could go and play at and enjoy my four years at college.”

Yang’s love for tennis began at the age of five, when her older brother took her to the park and taught her how to use a racket. Within two years, Yang began training professionally and attending regular tournaments.

You kind of just have to just follow your instincts and trust the training that you’ve been putting in the work your whole life. ”

— Anne Yang

“My family has been a huge part of my life and tennis in general, and my parents are both athletes, so they understand what it’s like,” Yang said. “They took me to all my tournaments ever since I was starting at seven, and they always watch my matches.”

Yang’s mother was a member of the Chinese National handball team, and her father was a professional fencer, which meant that Yang always had a support system around when her motivation tapered. Yang found herself in such a position during her junior year of high school, when she switched to the Irvine Virtual Academy halfway through the year.

“I was in a really bad state of mind because I wasn’t really motivated to play tennis or to do well in school, even though I had to because it was just a couple of months right before recruiting started,” Yang said. “But eventually I bounced back after school and spent a lot of time on the tennis court, grinding every day.”

Her slump dissipated at just the right time: recruiting season. At junior sectionals, Yang went up against a formidable opponent; little did she know, the Brown University recruitment officer was watching in the stands.

“I lost in the tiebreak in those attacks, winning the tiebreaker,” Yang said. “Even though I lost, [the recruitment officer] reached out a couple of days after and told me she really liked the way that I thought, even though, quote-unquote, ‘the girl threw the kitchen sink at me.’”

Not long after, Yang was allowed the opportunity to spend a week at Brown to get a feel of the atmosphere and accepted her offer from the university. Yang said she looks forward to continuing her tennis career at Brown and is open to wherever the future may take her and her racket.

“You kind of just have to just follow your instincts and trust the training that you’ve been putting in the work your whole life,” Yang said.

Game, set and match.