Krstanovic consistent in doubles

The freshman did not compete in the fall but is playing during the spring.

Freshman Josip Krstanovic hits the ball during the Gophers' first home event of the spring season at Baseline Tennis Center on Jan. 16.

Maddy Fox, Daily File Photo

Freshman Josip Krstanovic hits the ball during the Gophers' first home event of the spring season at Baseline Tennis Center on Jan. 16.

Jack White

Josip Krstanovic has shown no signs of hitting the rookie wall as a freshman this spring, likely because he entered the season well-rested.
 
 
The Zagreb, Croatia, native did not officially become a member of the Gophers men’s tennis team until the spring semester, and he has emerged as one of Minnesota’s most consistent doubles players.
 
 
He is 7-5 in doubles this spring at the team’s No. 2 and No. 3 doubles spots. 
 
 
“He moves forward well and closes pretty well in the net, so those things really help him,” head coach Geoff Young said.
 
 
An injury on the team early on in the year partnered Krstanovic with Justyn Levin, and the freshman doubles pair is now 6-4 this spring.
 
 
“In the fall, I didn’t really know I’d be playing with him,” Levin said. “He came here, and I think we clicked quite well in practice. … I think we complement each other. He’s got a big serve, and it helps me at the net, and I need to work on my serve to help him at net.”
 
 
In the Gophers’ two matches last weekend, though, Krstanovic was paired with sophomore Felix Corwin, and the duo went 1-1.
 
 
Young said he doesn’t plan to break up the two.
 
 
“Those guys have still done pretty well,” Young said. “Also, the other two [doubles] teams are still doing well, and we didn’t want to break up those other two teams.”
 
 
Krstanovic has faced a tougher transition to singles play this spring, and his record is 5-11. Young said the 6-foot-6-inch freshman is working on technical adjustments to help his game.
 
 
“He’s got a lot of areas he’s working on, and that probably requires him to get a little worse before he gets better,” Young said. “It will be a long process, working on these things. A lot of technique changes and footwork changes that he’ll have to continue to work on in the summer.”
 
 
One aspect of his game Krstanovic said he is working on is his forearm. With his tall frame, he’s working on making sure he has a sharp serve.
 
 
“I’m really tall, so my serve has been a big role in my game,” Krstanovic said. “[My forearm is] good, but it has to be better.”