Sanela Kunovac is a name familiar to all who follow Penn Tennis. She is currently in her thirteenth year as a head coach of Penn Women’s Tennis Team.
As a player, Sanela competed for Penn and was honored as the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Ivy League Player of the Year in 2001, the first Penn women’s tennis player in the history of the program to earn both honors in the same season. In her Freshman year at Penn, Sanela played No. 1 singles and doubles and led the Quakers to their first Ivy League championship and an NCAA second-round appearance. She won a deciding match in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Pepperdine University and helped deliver not just a match-clinching victory for Penn, but also one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA tournament in that year.
Penn followed that record-breaking year by winning the second Ivy title in 2002, Kunovac’s sophomore season, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships. Kunovac was the first three-year captain in program history, a two-time All-Ivy selection in both singles and doubles (2001, 2002), and has recently been inducted into the Penn Tennis Hall of Fame.
Sanela trained at world-renowned IMG Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy for four years before attending Penn. While competing in top circles of women’s tennis, she also placed great importance on academics and has graduated from Penn in 2004 with a dual major in Economics and PPE (Penn’s Philosophy, Political Science and Economics program). Sanela holds an MA degree from the Univ. of Arizona in Political Science, with a focus in the field of International Relations and Conflict Resolution.
Sanela has recruited and coached multiple Ivy League Rookies and Ivy League Players of the year, including an ITA All-American, and has been awarded the 2012 USTA Middle states College Coach of the Year.