Campus Life

Aggie Tennis Pro Invests In Marketing Grad Students

Pro tennis champion Austin Krajicek ’11 and his wife, Misia ’18, are serving up a scholarship for future Mays Business School students.
By Jeannie Ralston, Texas A&M Foundation June 12, 2024

Austin Krajicek ’11 and his wife, Misia ’18
Austin Krajicek ’11 and his wife, Misia ’18

Trevor Paulhus/Texas A&M Foundation

 

Both Austin Krajicek ’11 and his wife, Misia ’18, grew up on tennis courts, but don’t expect to find them on one together these days. Austin, a star on Texas A&M University’s team for four seasons, is one of the world’s top-ranking players in men’s doubles tennis. Misia also excelled at the game for the University of Illinois before hanging up her racket with “great relief” and getting her master’s in marketing from Mays Business School.

“Once a year, I’ll hit with Austin for 10 minutes, but then this stress comes over me and I decide, ‘All right, I’m done,’” said Misia, who now plays with numbers as the director of data analytics at a Dallas tech company.

One passion they enthusiastically do share is helping other students reap the benefits of an Aggie education. The couple is among the youngest donors to establish an endowed scholarship at Mays. We caught up with them earlier this year before Austin competed in the 2024 Australian Open.

Austin, what brought you to Texas A&M?

I grew up in Florida and was at the IMG Academy for about three and a half years. I was on the fence between going professional or going to college. Ever since I was little, I was a huge University of Florida fan and had my room decked out in Gator stuff. But at the last minute, on a recruiting trip to College Station, I changed my mind. I fell in love with the school. I loved the traditions, and I felt like part of the family right away. I still think it was the best decision I’ve made in my career and life path.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Texas A&M?

The first college tournament I played was in College Station, and it was the first real team I played for because tennis is normally such an individual sport. I’d won the first set but was down in the second. It was a pretty tight moment. I got it to a tiebreaker and then came back and won the second set. That clinched the match. Everyone rushed the court and dog piled on me. It was a great way to start my college experience.

Misia, what was your tennis experience like?

Austin Krajicek on a tennis court
One of the world’s top-ranked players in men’s doubles tennis, Austin Krajicek ’11, along with tennis partner Ivan Dodig, was the 2023 champion of the French Open, a Grand Slam tournament.

Trevor Paulhus/Texas A&M Foundation

Until I was 14 or 15, the conversation in my house was that I was going to go pro. But instead, I went to college. I had a bit of a hard time balancing tennis and school, but I think it was because I enjoyed school so much. Austin always jokes that he would be the first one at the courts at 8 a.m. hitting serves. But I would never miss an 8 a.m. economics class. We were definitely different student-athletes.

How did you two meet?

Misia: We crossed paths briefly when he came to the University of Illinois for a tournament. I had a friend who knew Austin from the Florida junior circuit, and she told me she had a crush on him. She asked me to reach out to him on Facebook for her, but he ended up keeping in touch with me.

How important is it to your relationship that you both have high-level tennis experience?

Austin: I think it’s important because Misia understands the difficulty of the travel schedule, how tennis players deal with preparation and the competitiveness. I would argue she’s almost more competitive than me.

Misia: But we don’t talk strategy. We don’t talk tennis at dinner.

Austin: Yeah. One player in the family is enough.

In 2018, you moved to College Station so Misia could pursue her master’s degree. How did that happen?

Misia: We were living in Los Angeles, and I was working four jobs to make ends meet. I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I didn’t want to put my parents in that kind of debt. When Austin talked about Texas A&M, I looked up the business school and saw its high ratings and knew it didn’t cost as much as UCLA. In my admissions letter, I learned my offer at Mays included a scholarship, even though I hadn’t asked for one. That gave me in-state tuition, which cut the cost by probably more than half. After being a student-athlete, I always wanted to put 100% into school, and that scholarship is the only reason I could finally do that.

Around the same time, Austin, you were making the shift from singles tennis to doubles. How did that happen?

I did well in singles for a bit, but then I struggled with a couple injuries and some bad scheduling choices. I think my skillset has always been more tailored toward doubles—an aggressive style and coming to the net a bit more. I worked my way up in doubles playing with different partners. Then, at a tournament in 2021, Ivan Dodig, my current doubles partner, needed someone to fill in for his partner. We made the finals, and our teams got along well. Then we made the finals in the 2022 French Open and won it in 2023.

Why did you decide to fund a scholarship for Mays students?

Austin: It was such a surprise when Misia got her scholarship. We were in a different position financially at that time, and we were so grateful because it helped her succeed in her program and helped me keep playing. So, when we reached a position where we could help, it was important to us to give back.

Misia: The scholarship will support out-of-state marketing graduate students because Texas A&M offers such a great college experience. We thought more people from around the country should know about Aggieland and experience its culture like we did while having fun being an Aggie.

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