Mitchell Frank’s life revolves around tennis—and with good reason. In high school, Frank ranked as high as fifth in the world in juniors tennis and competed in all four Junior Grand Slams. He came to the University because he believed its world-class tennis program could help him elevate his game. “When you’re in a great program like U.Va.’s, you have the coaching you need to build your game and your confidence,” he says. “And you can do so without the pressures and struggles of the pro tour.”
That’s exactly what he’s done. At the end of his second year, Frank was ranked 29th nationally in singles despite having missed the fall season due to injury. In the process, he helped Virginia win its first NCAA championship. In October, he won his second Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships singles title.
This level of success requires hard work as well as talent. Frank estimates he is on the court 320 days a year. It also requires focus. “If you want to be good at tennis, you have to like breaking down your game and figuring out how you can make it better,” he says. “The same thing goes when you’re out on the court. You have to learn how to problem-solve in the moment.”
Frank’s intense concentration on tennis has opened him up to other things U.Va. has to offer. After two years on the junior world tour, majoring in foreign affairs was a natural choice—and has helped him place his experiences in context. He’s also found it fascinating to meet other students who are as focused on their interests as he is on his. “There are some amazing people here,” he says. “It’s been eye opening to meet people with completely different talents and backgrounds.”