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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

The freshman Frenchman

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Franklin — The Battalion

Arthur Rinderknech prepares for return

Arthur Rinderknech, a 19-year-old from Paris, France, has made a bigger impact on the Aggie men’s tennis team this season than most anticipated.
The freshman has played vital matches for A&M this season, leading them to two victories over top-5 ranked teams and a 6-1 record.
Rinderknech began playing tennis at the age of six in an attempt to follow in the footsteps of his parents. His mother, Virginie Paquet, and father, Pascal Rinderknech, are accomplished tennis professionals in France.
The journey to College Station for Rinderknech began with a recruiting trip from head coach Steve Denton of Texas A&M.
“I was in Paris to see him and after I watched Arthur hit three or four balls, I knew that he was our level and knew that he could really help us,” Denton said. “So, then it was just really a question of talking him into coming over here and playing.”
The impression he had of Denton helped seal the deal, Rinderknech said.
“After he met with my family and everything, I had a good feeling with Steve and I decided to come here,” Rinderknech said.
Rinderknech’s 6-foot-3 frame allows him to kill the ball, making a return shot difficult for his opponents. Rinderknech was looking for a university with a top-15 tennis program, high level of education and a place with good weather. Despite Thursday’s low temperatures, it seems he found the perfect fit.
During the process of getting Rinderknech to College Station, a minor speed bump presented itself when eligibility was withheld for his first year.
“For him to be able to stay in there mentally and continue to do things on his own and be motivated for that year — you know, it was really hard for him watching our guys play in matches with him not being able to compete, but obviously he’s certainly made up for it in this first month and a half,” Denton said.
Rinderknech has only one singles loss on the season, which came in a three-set battle against a TCU opponent early on in the year. In the time since, he has won two of the most important matches of the year for A&M. Both came against top five opponents and in both situations, he was the last man standing.
Denton said Rinderknech performs when it matters most.
“As far as I can tell, the more the pressure, the better he plays,” Denton said. “And that’s obviously really good for us.”
It is rare to have the chance to upset the No. 1 team in the nation. It is even rarer when it is a freshman that clinches the match. Upon finishing off his milestone match against No. 1 Oklahoma, he was greeted by his teammates who stormed the court to celebrate with him. It will be a memory that he won’t forget.
Rinderknech and the team will travel to No. 4 Georgia at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The No. 10 Aggies look to extend their winning streak to seven matches in a row.

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