Men’s tennis excels in national semifinals to close fall season

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Men’s tennis excels in national semifinals to close fall season

Entering as No. 3 seed in singles draw in the national semifinals, Anish Sriniketh concluded an impressive fall season.

Entering as No. 3 seed in singles draw in the national semifinals, Anish Sriniketh concluded an impressive fall season.

Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communication

Entering as No. 3 seed in singles draw in the national semifinals, Anish Sriniketh concluded an impressive fall season.

Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communication

Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communication

Entering as No. 3 seed in singles draw in the national semifinals, Anish Sriniketh concluded an impressive fall season.

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The St. Edward’s University men’s tennis team finished off the fall season by having four players secure a spot in the ITA National Tournament in midOctober. The freshmen pairing of Abhi Ramireddy and Jesse Wikso along with veterans Chase Barlett and Anish Siriniketh earned a spot to compete in doubles.

However, Sriniketh also represented SEU in singles play. Head coach Estevam Strecker is not shocked by his team’s success and believes it’s a direct result of the culture the players themselves have created for the program.

“I do believe that the culture of the program is special in the sense that the guys come in at the beginning of the fall already putting in a good amount of work. Their discipline and desire to do well is obviously an asset for the program.”

The pairing of Barlett and Sriniketh was indisputable since the duo established its dominance in early March, while Wikso and Ramireddy thrived as underdogs during regionals. Despite being an unlikely pairing, the unseeded freshmen walked away with a 5-0 record and a doubles draw to nationals. Strecker describes the different factors that go into strong doubles partners by emphasizing the role personality and ability play in the couple’s on court cohesiveness.

“It is a daily task for sure. I try to combine personalities and skills that may complement each other in some way or another while allowing them to create some kind of bond that shows me the fit well together.”

According to Sriniketh, he tries to “treat each match the same not valuing the first round more than the finals.” Sriniketh went into regionals ranked as the No. 2 seed and left with a 6-0 record, earning him the singles draw that would punch his ticket to nationals.

“I feel that rankings do not really matter once you are in the match. It’s just you and your opponent at that point, Sriniketh said. “Usually in high pressure situations, when the match gets close, I usually try to take my time in between points.”

As the former ITA Rookie of the Year 2019, Sriniketh went into nationals the No. 3 overall seed and the only Hilltopper participating in singles play. A left-handed dominant competitor Sriniketh dominated the first rounds and earned a spot in the quarterfinals.

“I try not to differ my preparation from opponent to opponent as I try to focus on my own game. Obviously, you may do a couple different things depending on who you are playing… However, I believe that if I play my game style… I will be very successful.”

Leading his freshmen duo to reach the doubles semifinals and Siriniketh to the singles quarterfinals Strecker is going into the off-season with a lineup filled with much talent yet his biggest obstacle will be to the drive alive.

The team will kick off the spring season at home on Jan. 31.