New number ones

New number ones

Emily Vu

Duo takes home SCVAL doubles championship for varsity boys tennis


For the first time in ten years, the boys varsity tennis team was awarded the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League doubles championship title.
On April 30, sophomore Nathan Law and senior Suhas Shekar took home a victory against the number one seeded doubles team, Palo Alto High School, with a close 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 7-6(4)score.

Although Law and Shekar were normally singles players and this was the very first time they played on a doubles team together, they were confident.

"It wasn't very difficult to adjust to playing doubles because we both knew how to volley and serve well, Law said. "That's all there was to it. And I knew that Suhas would be a good doubles partner, so if I just played my best and he played his best, we would win."
Law and Shekar began behind 1-4 in the first game of the match. However, they soon discovered a tricky tactic that got into their opponents' heads and slowed them down: taking full advantage of their 25 second intermissions. After every couple points, Law would take the full 25 seconds to wipe his face with the towel. This tactic worked well as it allowed the boys to come back and tie the Vikings 4-4. The Matadors and the Vikings fought neck and neck for the rest of the game, resulting in a tiebreaker game to determine the winner of the set. Despite the solid comeback before, the Matadors were unable to fend off the Vikings in the tiebreaker game, losing the set 6-7(4).

"We lost concentration sometimes because of schoolwork and girls, especially in the first game," Shekar said.  "But, it was our will that drove us. We wanted to win more than they did. We saw the trophies, and we decided since we really wanted those trophies, we had to win." 
Law and Shekar pushed the loss aside and brought out even more confidence and determination for the second set. With powerful serves and aggressive swings, the Matadors pushed their way into yet another tiebreaker game. Their ability to send the ball deep into the corners of the court and ace their serves allowed them to beat the Vikings in the second set 7-6(5), as they headed into their determining set of the match.

The Matadors continued to persevere throughout the third set by keeping their serves strong, scoring winners and moving the Vikings around the court to tire them out. Law and Shekar were able to balance out their smart tactics as well as their aggressiveness, and they headed into the one last tiebreaker game — to make it or break it.
Fortunately, their focus and will along with a solid performance on the court allowed them to beat the number one doubles team and take home the SCVAL doubles championship with a final 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 7-6(4) score, as they ended their glorious victory with a hug.

"It feels really good to do something that hasn't been done in a long time, but we still want to do even more than that: win individual CCS as doubles," Shekar said. 

Not only did Law and Shekar win the trophy they wanted, but their SCVAL victory guaranteed them a spot in the semi-finals for CCS. Law and Shekar plan to work on their doubles technique and strong returns for their upcoming team CCS matches on May 6-7 and also their individual CCS matches, which will take place in two weeks.