By Murray Gleffe
Name: Josh Janssen
Parents: Bob and Lorie
Activity: Boys’ tennis
Josh Janssen, nicknamed “Panda,” was a part of the Notre Dame Academy tennis team which won the Division 2 team state title this past spring in Madison.
He has been playing in the United States Tennis Association since he was 10 and said the friendships you build during those matches are life-lasting.
What was it like to win team state and also finish runner-up in the Division 2 individual doubles tournament?
“It was an incredibly gratifying moment. Hard work pays off and things happen for a reason.”
What was your most embarrassing sports moment?
“When I whiffed an overhead and the ball bounced off my head.”
What was your most memorable moment?
“Hitting an overhead on match point to advance to the finals at individual state.”
If you could be somebody for a day, who would it be?
“I’d love to be [tennis player] Roger Federer because he is a genuine guy. I’d like to experience a day in his steps to see his practice, his diet and what it’s like to be paid to wear clothes, watches and drive a Mercedes.”
Favorite day trip with friends/family?
“Our family took a drive to get dinner and play tennis in Door County – it was a blast.”
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
“I have been playing piano for 12 years.”
For the average fan that doesn’t know the game of tennis, talk about the difference between singles and doubles.
“The biggest difference is the mindset. In doubles, you are constantly thinking about getting to the net and when to poach. Singles is usually about how to keep the ball in play while still playing offensive.”
What are your college aspirations?
“Majoring in finance, as well as hopefully playing in the line-up at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.”
Who was the practical joker on this year’s team?
“Will Templeton. The day before sub sectionals in Minocqua, he jumped in a lake in 48-degree weather.”
If you were given one wish, what would it be?
“To be able to predict the stock market.”
What are your hobbies?
“Tennis, chess, piano, shoes, fantasy football, the Packers, the Milwaukee Bucks and downhill skiing.”
What are your favorite two songs to listen to before getting ready for a big match?
“Came a Long Way by the Migos and Red Room by Offset.”
What three words describe you?
“Focused, funny, problem-solver.”
London or Roland Garros?
“I’d love to travel to Wimbledon and camp out overnight at the grounds to be in line for the famous queen with a bunch of friends.”
Who is your favorite pro tennis player?
“Juan Martin Del Potro.”
If you put the time and effort into another sport, which do you think you would have been successful at Notre Dame?
“I played soccer from ages 5-15.”
What is one thing that frustrates you right now about the world?
“The lack of willingness to see other sides of certain arguments.”
What is your desired location to go watch a tennis match anywhere in the world?
“The Monte-Carlo tournament. The view from the courts while watching tennis is incredible.”
An overhead or put-away volley?
“Overhead, because it’s very satisfying to make great contact on that shot.”
Restaurant: Olive Garden
Movie: Caddy Shack