Abhay Anil 25 heads into the 2024 tennis season ranked 10th in the state.
Abhay Anil ’25 heads into the 2024 tennis season ranked 10th in the state.
Jack Rogers

Since he was a kid, Abhay Anil ‘25 idolized Roger Federer and would spend hours watching professional tennis on television with his father.

“When my dad was younger, he loved watching the sport of tennis but never had the opportunity to play. His passion grew on me from a young age as we would constantly watch some of our favorite players like Roger Federer on the TV. My dad’s admiration for the game inspired me to play the sport myself. He would take me to tournaments and give me tips on how to improve. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him,” Anil said.

Right from the start of his high school career, Anil played the number one spot for City High and has always had high expectations. Anil was one of 16 people to make the State Tournament individually.

“It was intimidating as a freshman playing in the number one spot on varsity. But meeting so many amazing people along the way helped me to be a better player and person, and I felt so comfortable on the team. Coach Chip Hardesty was such an amazing person to not only work with but to bond with and we’ll really miss him this year,” Anil said.

Anil doesn’t only just compete for the Little Hawks. Anil is constantly practicing at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center and North Dodge Athletic Club trying to perfect his game. He travels the country going to camps and other tournaments to make sure he is the best possible player he can be.

“Oftentimes people think that it might be a burden for me to go out and practice every day but that’s not the case. I’ve always had a passion for the game and every time I step on the court, I do it to enjoy myself and have a fun time,” Anil said.

Throughout the year Anil is constantly working with different coaches and playing in the Hawkeye Tennis Elite Academy and playing in USTA tournaments against other players his age.

“This past winter I placed 2nd in the Boys 18’s at the HTRC Klotz tournament. During spring break of 2023 I went down to Dallas to play in the Rafa Nadal Dallas Camp. This camp was held at the UT Dallas Tennis Courts and consisted of daily workouts. There I competed at the highest level and greatly improved my game. After the camp was over, I was given an invite to play in Mallorca, Spain where the official Rafa Nadal Academy is held. So, in the summer I traveled to Spain to play in the top group of the academy. I competed with players from all over the world and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Anil said.

Anil had 11 wins in his sophomore season with all of those wins coming in position one games. Heading into the 2024 season Anil is ranked 10th in the state individually for 2A.

“We are looking forward to a great season for Abhay this year. His hard work and focus during the off-season are very evident in his play. The pace of his ball has significantly increased from last season. Since he is left handed, his strong forehand will be an advantage. He comes into the season with a number 10 singles ranking and we expect to finish even better than that,” new Head Coach Jeff Hightshoe said.

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    Marshall HardestyMay 9, 2024 at 6:28 pm

    Very nice article! Abhay is Great young man. He’s a really good tennis player, obviously, but his character is what really sets him apart. He also has great parents who are very supportive.