The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Australian Player Leads Men’s Tennis

John Bertram was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but he literally moved across the world to attend Fresno City College.

“I have been playing tennis for as long as I can remember. Probably since about 6 years old,” Bertram said. “I was always surrounded by it because my dad was a tennis coach.”

Bertram grew up playing tennis up until 2008 when he graduated high school. “Over in Australia, competitive sports at college and universities are basically non-existent. They don’t have college sports like in the U.S.,” said Bertram.

For the year and a half following high school, Bertram focused on training and fitness in tennis to continue to grow as a player.

Because of the lack of competitive college sports, Bertram moved to the U.S last August to attend FCC to become eligible to transfer to a Division I college. “I picked FCC because I heard that they were one of the top ranked junior colleges in the nation,” he said.

While it hasn’t been difficult to adjust to a smaller city, he says that there are “some very different characters here, and there is more crime here than at home. That wouldn’t be typical where I come from.”

Bertram does not complain about the time that he has spent in the U.S. but so far, his time here has not been completely luxurious. Once Bertram moved to the U.S. last August, he stayed on people’s couches rather than signing a lease to an apartment. “I didn’t really want to sign a lease at a specific place, so I jumped around from couch to couch, which I didn’t mind,” Bertram said.

Also, Bertram hasn’t had a car and has been riding the bus to get to FCC since last August.. “The bus isn’t that bad, but I am excited to get my car this week,” Bertram said.

Currently, Bertram is living in a leased apartment near California State University, Fresno with two female roommates who are both athletes at FSU. “It’s great having two female roommates—much better than guys because they cook food for me quite a bit,” Bertram said.

Bertram is also working on his second semester as a full time student at FCC, studying Pre-Med and ranked number 1 on the tennis team. So far, his record is 8-1 in singles and 18-0 in doubles in conference.

This past weekend, the FCC Men’s Tennis team competed against Ventura College who are the defending Men’s Tennis State Champions. Bertram won his singles match and lost his doubles match against VC.

Bertram claims to be his own toughest critic on the tennis court. “I get mad at myself more than anything.” He said that he is starting to learn how to better control his anger during his matches.

His plan is to attend a Division I school and play tennis while studying to become a pediatrician. “I have always wanted to be a doctor and I like kids, so it makes sense,” said Bertram.

Bertram has always had high hopes for his education. “I planned on going to a top school such as Harvard, Princeton or something like that, but I went to New York around Christmas and New Years Eve and I hated the weather. It was way too cold and wet. I prefer the heat,” said Bertram. “While everyone else is complaining about the heat, I just enjoy it.”

Bertram has firm plans on transferring to a college in Southern California. “I love the weather down south and I like UCSD [University of California San Diego] because it has a great medical program.”

Bertram says he would love to get a scholarship to a school in Southern California or Florida, but he is also realistic of the fact that there is very little money available for tennis players. “Finding a strong academic college, a Division I school and a school that has tennis scholarships is not easy,” he said. “My parents are very helpful and are making sure that I attend a school that I like and will get a good education as well.”  

Overall, Bertram says that he is not a particularly optimistic or negative person, but he really tries not to worry about the little things.  He continues to deal with everything that life brings. He said,  “I am just trying to enjoy my life and play tennis while I’m still young.” 

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