U of Toronto grad trades tennis rackets for wrenches as he heads unique startup company
An Ajax tennis player ended a sterling career on the court for the University of Toronto men’s tennis team on a high note recently.
Zain Manji, 22, who finished a double degree in computer science and economics this year, accompanied the U of T Blues tennis team to the Rogers Cup event in Montreal recently where the Canadian university tennis championships was hosted in tandem with the professional tour stop. After defeating the McGill Redmen 5-2 in the opening day of the championships, the U of T team lost to 4-3 to the University of Alberta Golden Bears on the second day to claim the silver medal.
Manji said it was exciting to compete at nationals for a second year in a row as well as playing to large crowds that seemed to enjoy the university-level tennis as well as that played by the pro players.
“It was really exciting because of the location and being surrounded by all the pro tennis players you see on TV. The atmosphere there was really exciting.” Manji was the U of T’s top singles player at nationals, winning both of his matches. He defeated Haythem Laarabi of McGill in the semifinals 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, and Ryan Townsend of Alberta in the finals 7-5, 6-2, but the University of Toronto team was edged out by the U. of Alberta.
“The competition was at a very high level,” said Manji of the nationals. “It really brought out the best in everyone.”
A national silver wasn’t Manji’s only accomplishment on the court this season. He was awarded the Frank Pindar male athlete of the year at the U of T as well as Ontario University Athletics tennis player of the year.