Senior tennis player follows her passion

Sasha Khadzhyan was 17 when she came to the United States by herself. Pushed by her passion, tennis, Khadzhyan was recruited by St. Edward’s University to join the women’s tennis team.

Originally from Murmansk, Russia, Khadzhyan is a Business Management major who will be graduating in May.

Khadzhyan’s initial dream was to play soccer, but contrary to its status in the United States, soccer in Russia is a sport mainly reserved to men. This was the reason her ad decided she would play tennis.

Sasha was 7 years old when she fell in love with tennis. When she was 10, her parents sent her to a Russian tennis academy to develop the skills she already had. Khadzhyan is an only child, so it was very hard for her parents to let her move away. But for her passion, they made the sacrifice to let their daughter follow her dreams.  

At the age of 16, Khadzhyan realized that the United States was the only country where she could study and practice a sport as the same time. She hired an agent at 17 to help her find different school.

University coaches from many schools in the United States reached her agent, but she ended up choosing St. Edward’s because it was the only school offering her a full scholarship. Her parents pushed her to accept the offer, as they knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

According to Khadzhyan, playing four years of tennis for St. Edward’s was a great experience that she’ll never forget. When she was playing in Europe, she was used to being by herself on the court.

By coming to St. Edward’s, she discovered that tennis could be a team sport. Hadzhyan made lifelong friends during the past four years. In her time away from her parents, her team became her family, always there to support her in tough and happy moments. Khadzhyan mentioned some of her teammates being like her “sisters.”

Khadzhyan misses her family, but thanks to technology, she is able to communicate daily with her family back in Russia. She will celebrate her graduation with her parents in May.

Sasha then plans on staying in Austin and is looking for work. Her dream job is to have her own flower shop, as well as a bridal store here is the US.

After graduation, Khadzhyan wants to join a women’s tennis league in Austin.