By (Elliott Propes)

Joanna Nena Savva has a passion for tennis. That passion has followed her everywhere she’s been, whether it be her hometown of Nicosia, Cyprus, to Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, or now The University of Alabama. Nena Savva is well-traveled and has fought her way to play in major college tennis.

“She came from a junior college that didn’t have the same resources that we have at The University of Alabama,” senior Natalia Maynetto said. “Tennis racquets and strings are equipment you need. That wasn’t even provided at her school. Which I think is mind-blowing. And she is just so appreciative of just everything that’s given. Knowing she had to build her way up to the school she is at now is just admirable. She wasn’t given anything. She had to work for it.”

Nena Savva played well no matter the circumstances. She was a national champion at every level in Cyprus, and when she went to TJC she became a two-time singles and doubles national champion. She was ranked No. 1 for a while as well in singles. Coach Jenny Mainz believes that she will only repeat her success as moves to SEC tennis.

“She’s committed to the team. She wants to improve and get better, and she’s very driven. But she also is locked in on the team getting better,” Mainz said. “She didn’t come to Alabama to just kind of come. She came here to challenge herself.”

Maynetto and Mainz both said that she is already very comfortable with everyone on the team. Nena Savva didn’t hold back what she thought of her new coach and teammates either.

“Coming to a new team is amazing,” Nena Savva said. “The people on the team welcomed me with so much love that I felt like I’ve been here before. Coach Mainz is such an amazing person. She is so brave and works hard all the time. She pushes us all the time. What I really love about Coach Mainz is that she loves each one of us like we are a part of her own family.”

Nena Savva played in her first tournament as a part of the Crimson Tide last weekend at the Baylor Invitational. She won both singles and doubles matches she played in during the tournament.

“She’s already made a profound impact on our team,” Mainz said. “She is one of the most positive, spirited, uplifting people I’ve ever coached in 25 years of coaching. She’s going to leave an impact on you”

Nena Savva will have two years of eligibility at Alabama and plans to use the time well. Alabama will travel to the Furman Fall Classic this weekend to get some more action this fall season.

“My goals for the next two years are to enjoy and love every match I play since there’s not much time left,” Nena Savva said. “And hopefully win a national championship.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports