By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
Often, athletes are very close to their teammates because of the amount of time they spend together. College athletes live together, eat together and practice together. Sometimes teammates can have such a close relationship that they feel like brothers. But when teammates are brothers, that can lead to a special kind of experience.
Senior Constantin Frantzen, Coni [pronounced Connie] for short, and freshman Christopher Frantzen are brothers from Augsburg, Germany, playing together on Baylor’s men’s tennis team. Coni said he wanted his brother to join him at Baylor and convinced Chris that coming to this university would be the best choice to help him go professional.
Chris said that if he was going to leave his home country, he was only considering joining his older brother at Baylor.
“Other colleges also texted me, but I didn’t really respond to them,” Chris Frantzen said. “I was either going to stay in Germany and play tennis there, or I would come to my brother and go to Baylor.”
Both brothers said while they have always been competitive on the tennis court, they have a great relationship off the court.
Coni said that when Chris first arrived, he helped his younger brother transition to living in a new country and get accustomed to the college environment at Baylor.
“At the beginning, [Chris] came in really late,” Coni said. “He didn’t really have anybody to show him around, so that was all on me. . . I enjoyed helping him.”
Chris said while his older brother is helping him a lot, he has been helping Coni a bit too.
“He had a German class last semester,” Chris said. “His German is not that good anymore. So I helped him a little bit.”
Men’s tennis head coach Brian Boland has been awed by the connection Coni and Chris have. He said it has been amazing to see how well they work together and how much better they make each other, both on and off the court.
Boland recalls one event in particular that showed him how special their relationship was.
“I remember coming out one night last fall,” Boland said, “and it was probably 10 at night. . . Constantin was working on Chris with his volleys. . . To see Coni working with him and giving him advice, and Chris completely accepting it and asking questions, I mean I’ve never seen something like that before. [. . .] It’s really special.”
Coni said he is especially glad that he gets to experience this season with his brother. He said he thinks Baylor men’s tennis will do some great things this spring.
“This year, we have something really special going on. A lot of talented players, also with Jenson Brooksby coming in and all the other freshmen. . . this year, I think we have a really good shot to win the entire thing,” Coni said. “And it’s really cool for me that my brother is also on the team, so that we can go through that journey together.”
The Frantzen brothers, along with the rest of the Bears, will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend to face the Razorbacks at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Billingsley Tennis Center. Baylor’s next home match is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, February 6 at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
“Wear white Thursday against Wake Forest,” Boland said. “We need you here.”