Jon Wong Reflects on Stanford Career On and Off the Court
April 13, 2006
Stanford (12-3, 3-1) will host Arizona and Arizona State on April 14-15 at the Taube Tennis Center in a pair of Pac-10 matches. The Cardinal will also honor their two seniors during 'Seniors Weekend' as KC Corkery and Jon Wong play their final regular season matches at home. Both players reflected on their Stanford careers in a Q & A. Today we highlight Jon Wong from Los Altos Hills, CA.
Wong has been a solid contributor to the Cardinal program the last four seasons. This year, he has played No. 5 and No. 6 singles and has a 4-2 dual match record and a 9-6 overall mark. Wong, from Los Altos High School, is a Human Biology major.
Q & A with Jon Wong
What has been the most memorable moment for you as a member of the Stanford men's tennis team?
There have been a lot of memorable moments for me, but one that stands out was going to Athens, Georgia for the NCAAs my freshman year, particularly the semifinals against a very good Illinois team. It was there that I realized what college tennis was about and what the team was working so hard all year to achieve. Though I wasn't on the playing squad, it was an eye-opening experience for me that I will never forget. Hopefully by the end of this year, I'll be able to have a new 'most memorable moment' as the NCAAs are here at Stanford this year.
Why did you choose to come to Stanford?
As so many other Stanford athletes before me have undoubtedly pointed out, when it comes to a combination of academics and athletics, Stanford is at the top - bar none. As they say, Stanford's reputation precedes itself. I was also born and raised within a few minutes of campus and had an intimate knowledge and local attachment to the university, which certainly played a role in my desire to come to Stanford.
The expectations of the Stanford tennis program are very high year in and year out. How are you able to handle the rigors of a demanding class schedule and the pursuit of being a national champion?
With the unrivaled success of Stanford tennis over the past 35 years, expectations are certainly high for this program. There are certainly times when balancing studies and tennis can be pretty tough to manage, but I think Stanford athletes in general are some of the best at handling class with training and competition. For me personally, it's more about prioritizing the things that need to get done ahead of the things that aren't as important.
What do you like most about being on the Stanford tennis team?
The thing I like most about being on the Stanford tennis team is the people that I've come to meet through this program. Every person, no matter what his/her connection is to the program, really contributes to making this program special. Getting to know these tremendous people, from fans, to teammates, to coaches, to trainers, to alumni, etc., and share memories with them is something that is truly special to me.
How have you changed as a player and a person in your four years on the Farm?
Aside from improving pretty much every shot since freshman year, I've certainly improved my knowledge of the game. Being able to practice day in and day out with some of the best players in the country with the best coaches in the country will obviously have a positive effect. I'd like to think as a person, I've matured more over the past 4 years, but that's likely untrue. I do think though that I've come to a better realization of what hard work really is and what it takes and means to be a part of a team.
Which team do you look forward to playing the most this season and why?
I would have to say Georgia, simply because they're undefeated right now and are the team to beat. Nothing would be more satisfying then beating the best team in the country to win the national championship.What advice would you give the future Stanford tennis players?My advice to future Stanford tennis players is to follow a few important rules that should get you out of trouble: never be late, never curse, and never say bad things about the Green Bay Packers, otherwise you'll be on Coach Whit's bad side.
What type of influence has Dick Gould and John Whitlinger had on your career?
I was lucky enough to have both Dick and John as coaches of mine, both of which are very different and very outstanding individuals. To be coached and mentored by them has been truly a privilege and both have been integral parts of why I have been able to improve as much as I have since freshman year.
What do you want your teammates to remember you for and what do you want your Stanford legacy to be?
Aside from being remembered for having a nasty out wide serve on the deuce side, I would like to be remembered as a great team player - someone who put the team in front of himself in every sense and was able to do whatever necessary to help out his teammates.