Matej Zlatkovic | Women's Assistant Coach
Matej Zlatkovic joined Elizabeth Schmidt's coaching staff in August of 2017.
A native of Slovenia, Zlatkovic joined the five-time Conference USA Champions after serving in a similar role at the University of Pennsylvania, were he helped guide the Quakers to a 11-9 record, capped by an upset of 49th ranked Harvard in the season's final match. In addition, senior Kana Daniel qualified for the NCAA singles championship and advanced to the Round of 32.
Zlatkovic joined the Quakers after two years at Yale, serving as the interim head coach for the 2015-16 campaign and compiling an 8-13 record. One of those eight wins was an upset of Schmidt's Owls, 4-3 in New Haven.
Zlatkovic is no stranger to the national collegiate tennis scene, as he served for three years, from 2011 to 2014, as an assistant coach for Illinois State's men's tennis team. His duties at Illinois State ranged from coordinating fitness and weight exercises with players to providing tactical advice during match play.
In 2013, he also served as a traveling coach, tactical adviser and hitting partner for Polona Hercog, Slovenia's top-ranked professional women's tennis player who has been ranked as high as No. 35 in the world in singles and No. 56 in doubles.
Zlatkovic served as a tennis instructor at Moussa Drame Tennis Club in Shelter Island, N.Y., where he has provided one-on-one instruction to tennis players every summer since 2010. Zlatkovic also worked as a tennis professional at Tennis Club As Litija and SG Tennis Company, both in Slovenia, where he instructed players of all ages and skill levels.
In 2007 and 2008, Zlatkovic served as a hitting partner at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Slovenian Open for top professional players, including former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo, Maria Kirilenko, Katarina Srebotnik and Marina Erakovic.
Zlatkovic is also a decorated tennis player in his own right, having played on the Illinois State men's team. He served as team captain at Illinois State from 2010 to 2011, and received Missouri Valley All-Conference recognition in 2009 and 2010 in singles and doubles. Zlatkovic holds a degree in marketing sales from Illinois State's College of Business.
Anousjka van Exel | Women's Volunteer Assistant Coach
Former WTA Top 100 professional tennis player Anousjka van Exel joined the Rice Owls as the volunteer assistant coach in 2016.
Prior to joining the Owls, van Exel was the sports nutritionist of the AZ professional soccer squad in her native country, The Netherlands, for five years.
After concluding her professional tennis career, van Exel served as an assistant coach for two seasons at Baylor (2008-09). In her first season, the Lady Bears reached as high as second in the ITA rankings during the year and finished ranked fourth, their highest ranking ever, finishing at 32-3. The Lady Bears won their fifth-straight Big 12 Conference regular season championship and their fourth-straight conference tournament championship.
During her first semester at Baylor van Exel completed her master's degree in exercise and sports nutrition at Texas Woman's University. She also holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Tulsa University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1999.
During van Exel's collegiate career, she was twice honored as the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year (1998, 1999). In that two year span, van Exel also was named an NCAA All-American, an All-WAC first-team member in singles and doubles, an Academic All-WAC first-team member, an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Academic All-American, and was a GTE CoSIDA Academic All-America award recipient in 1999.
As a professional, van Exel played from 2001 to 2004; she competed on some of the biggest stages including the U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Her best result was reaching the round of 16 Australian Open doubles in 2002. In one of her most memorable moments, van Exel faced Martina Navratilova and Todd Woodbridge in front of a sold-out center court crowd at Wimbledon.
Van Exel also competed for the Netherlands as a member of her native lands 2003 Fed Cup team.
Bojan Szumanski | Men's Assistant Coach
Bojan Szumanski is in his fifth year as the Owls' assistant men's tennis coach after spending the previous two years in the same capacity at Western Michigan.
In his first four years, Szumanski has been helped guide the Owls back into the national top 30 and return to NCAA action in both team and individual action.
In his final season with the Broncos, Szumanski helped lead the team to the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament while seeing junior Nadin Indre earn MAC Player of the Year honors.
Szumanski played collegiately at Texas Tech. Playing primarily at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, Szumanski is the Red Raiders' career wins leader in singles (90) and doubles (61), while qualifying for the NCAA Singles Championships three times (2005, 07-08) and the NCAA doubles twice (2007-08). The Red Raiders reached the tournament as a team in 2005, 2007 and 2008, advancing past the first round in both 2005 (round of 16) and 2008 (second round).
Szumanski earned multiple honors during his collegiate career as a three-time All-Big 12 singles honoree and two-time All-Big 12 doubles honoree. He was also an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America At-Large Third Team selection in both 2005 and 2008, while making the Academic All-District VI First Team three times. Szumanski was nationally ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association throughout his career, reaching a high of No. 2 in doubles and No. 12 in singles.
A three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, Szumanski graduated from Texas Tech summa cum laude with a 3.93 grade point average and bachelor of science degree in personal financial planning in 2008.
Szumanski played professional tennis on both the ATP and ITF circuits after completing his college career. In 2009, he reached career highs of No. 574 in doubles and No. 905 in singles on the ATP Tour.
He won the ITF Futures Poland F7 in doubles in 2008 and was a runner-up at ITF Futures in Romania (August 2008) and Mansfield, Texas (Oct. 2008). He won the Polish National Indoor Championship in doubles in 2010 and Polish National Team Championship from 2009-12, while also playing No. 1 for TCM Markwasen in Germany from 2009-11.
The Rice Tennis Camps have brought together some of the finest instructors available. In addition to players from the Rice men’s and women’s teams, we also have teaching professionals from throughout the region.