Pepperdine Women’s Tennis Pairing Again Wins Weekly Honor for Conference

First-year Pepperdine Waves women’s tennis players Savannah Broadus and Janice Tjen were first paired together during the ITA Southwest Regional Championships in San Diego last October.

They were successful immediately. The pair advanced to the semifinals of the ITA event’s doubles bracket. 

Tjen, a sophomore, who transferred to Pepperdine from Oregon, said she felt a special bond with Broadus, a freshman from Carrollton, Texas, right when they stepped on the court in unison. 

“I just felt like we were going to be a special pair,” said Tjen, who is from Jakarta, Indonesia. “Our games’ styles are so similar.” 

Broadus said the similarities include her and Tjen’s energetic level of play, love for playing tennis close to the net, and of course how they use their rackets to hit the ball.

“We both love our forehand,” Broadus remarked. “Our teammates like their backhand, but we can always relate to each other being Team Forehand. We had a special connection but didn’t know it before we played with each other.” 

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“Team Forehand’s” success has continued since the fall. The two 19-year-olds were named the West Coast Conference’s Doubles Team of the Week two weeks in a row in March. 

The twosome first won the honor on March 15 thanks to them clinching the doubles point in Pepperdine’s win over BYU on March 12 with a 6-2 triumph. Broadus and Tjen were named the WCC’s top pairing of the week on March 22 date four days after they recorded a 6-1 win against USC, helping to propel the Waves to victory. 

Additionally, Pepperdine’s Shiori Fukuda was named the WCC Singles Player of the Week on March 22. The honor came her ways thanks to her straight sets win, which came during Pepperdine’s defeat of USC.

Winning WCC Doubles Team of the Week, Tjen said, was unexpected. 

“There are a lot of good doubles players out there,” said. “I’m really happy that we could get it two weeks in a row.” 

Broadus said when she and Tjen won the recognition for the first time, they took it in stride. 

“We were just doing what we do best, and it just turned out we ended up getting it two weeks in a row,” she said. “That is pretty exciting.” 

What they do best right now is win. Broadus and Tjen have an 11-0 record heading into the Waves contest against San Francisco on Monday. The two are the ninth-ranked doubles team in the nation. 

Their success helped Pepperdine garner a 12-3 record, including 2-0 in the WCC, and a ranking of fifth in the national polls at press time. 

Broadus said she and Tjen have been prosperous on the tennis court together because of their parallel tennis games, personalities, and experiences.

“We are very similar people, so it helped our chemistry,” she said. “We both came to Pepperdine from different places and had to adjust to the culture and expectations here. The other girls on the team have already been here.”

Broadus continued, “We spend so much time together. Our fitness coach has us do extra workouts together. That just helps build that and trust with each other.” 

They are both successful individual players as well. 

Tjen was an ITA All-American singles player in 2021 at Oregon. She was also the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, the ITA Northwest Region Rookie of the Year, and a member of the All-Pac 12 first team. 

Broadus won four ITF singles titles and six ITF doubles titles as a juniors player. She was a Junior Australian Open Doubles semifinalist in 2020 and a Eddie Herr Doubles Champion and Junior Wimbledon Doubles Champion in 2019. 

The two advanced to the semifinals of the Freeman Memorial Championship in Las Vegas in January after the ITA tournament last fall. They won their match when Pepperdine took on California to open the season. Then, the two grabbed a victory in a Waves’ win over Columbia.

Broadus and Tjen said possibly their two best matches of the season occurred in February. They defeated the UCLA pair — Elise Wagle and Vanessa Ong — that downed them in the ITA Southwest Regional Championships, and then beat an Oklahoma University duo 6-1 in the three-day National Team Indoor Championships in Wisconsin. 

Broadus said she and Tjen are constantly improving. 

“We are always working on our games,” she said. “We can always be better.”

Tjen said she and Broadus can still raise their level of play and compete for a title in the NCAA Championships in May

“We didn’t play our best the last couple of matches, but we always try to play the right way,” she said. “We do the things that we are supposed to do. That is going to help us succeed.” 

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