Athlete of the Week: Junior Maya Mallavarapu in tennis

Junior Maya Mallavarapu won state doubles last year.


For you, what was a highlight of your most recent competition?

The highlight of last Saturday’s meet was probably just getting to play with the rest of my teammates for the first time since last season. 

What makes your sport special and different?

The fact that it’s only you on the court in singles, so winning or losing is just up to you and your skill. 

How long have you been into this sport, and what were the early days of your participation? 

I’ve been playing tennis for about 10 years and have been competing since I was around 10 years old. I’ve been training year round since that age.

How did/do you cope with any setbacks/losses you’ve experienced in your sport?

The setbacks motivate me to practice even more and train harder to win the next time. 

Who has been particularly influential in helping your growth in this sport?

My older brother has been the biggest influence when it comes to tennis. He gives me some of the best advice and has taught me a lot about the game.

What do you do to prepare yourself before a game?

I always try to get a good warmup in and take a few deep breaths to calm my nerves.

How do you work on improving your skills in this sport?

I put in hours of practice to work on my skills.

What’s a personal skill that you are targeting lately?

I’ve been trying to become well rounded and be able to hit a variety of shots well. 

Do you have plans to play this sport after high school?

I am not sure if I am going to play college tennis or not, but it’s definitely something that I am interested in. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about your sport?

When you win you know that it’s your hard work that paid off because it’s just you on the court. This is one of the most challenging things about tennis, but also the most rewarding.

What has been a highlight for you/your team so far this season?

We have only had two meets so far this season, but a highlight would be our first win of the season vs. Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

As you see it, what are the biggest tests remaining for you/your team yet this season?

Probably seeing how we handle the pressure of playing some of the tougher teams during season.

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