“It started off there and I just fell in love with the sport, really,” Jansen said.
Both his father and his older brother are avid players, and their passion for the game rubbed off on Jansen.
“We’d get into arguments because we were so competitive," Jansen said.
Before long, his talent and dedication earned him a spot at one of the United Kingdom's premier tennis schools, Reed’s School Tennis Academy, which has won three World Schools Championships and 43 national championships in the past 20 years.
Under the tutelage of Reed’s head coach Ben Haran, he continued to improve steadily, consistently being the No. 1 ranked player in his age group up until he reached the competitive 18-and-under circuit. In 2021, he became the British 18-and-under national champion, cementing himself as one of the best junior tennis players in the county.
After graduating from Reed’s, Jansen had the opportunity to take on some of the biggest stages in the world of junior tennis. In the fall he competed in M15 tournaments in Egypt and Kuwait, and he most recently traveled to New York to compete in the U.S. Open Junior Championships.
However, his favorite moment in his career thus far is playing in the Wimbledon Junior Championships this past summer. Despite falling in the second round, Jansen said the opportunity to play at such a storied venue was unforgettable.
Getting to compete on the same courts as his childhood heroes only reinforced his dreams of playing professional tennis. That's the reason he moved across the Atlantic to attend UNC.
“I really felt like this was the next step to professional tennis and developing my game in the right way,” he said. “I got a great vibe from the team, great vibe from the coaches and I just felt this was the right university for me.”
Jansen is just as memorable off the court as on it. When not playing, he is the first to cheer for his teammates, often partaking in boisterous sideline celebrations after a teammate wins a particularly impressive point. On any given match, spectators will surely hear his voice echoing off the walls of the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
Because of this, Jansen has immediately clicked with the rest of the team.
“He’s got good energy and definitely gets fired up and he keeps everyone engaged,” Jansen’s doubles partner graduate Karl Poling said.
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Down the line, Jansen hopes to utilize this energy to achieve his dreams — the first one being an NCAA title with the Tar Heels.
With the start he's gotten at UNC, he’s well on his way there.
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Gwen Peace is the 2023-24 assistant sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as a senior writer. Gwen is a sophomore pursuing a double major in media and journalism and peace, war and defense.