Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Former Tennis Player Wins First Professional Tournament

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Saketh Myneni, a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama, won his first professional tennis tournament at the International Tennis Federation's Futures Tour in India this past November.

Myneni won both the men's singles and doubles tournament, a feat not shared by many of even the best professional tennis players.

"I am really happy to have won my first professional event and I feel pleased with my efforts the entire week," says Myneni.

As a result of his win, Myneni gained 18 points to go towards his ATP ranking. Based on more recent tournament play, Myneni now has 21 points in singles play and is ranked around 700th in the world, says Billy Pate, UA's men's tennis coach. Myneni now plans to focus his efforts on increasing his ATP ranking so that he may compete in higher-level tournaments.

"My main goal is to play on India's team in the 2012 Davis Cup tournament," says Myneni. "My short term goals are to try and compete with the best athletes in the world, increase my ranking and also to stay healthy."

Coach Pate says he believes that Myneni has a good chance at making the Davis Cup team despite his current ATP ranking.

"Saketh's major goal is to play in the Davis Cup for India," says Pate. "He has a good chance on his current path and has certainly captured the attention of the Indian federation--the people who will make decisions on which wildcards to allow into higher level events."

In light of winning the India F9 tournament, Myneni credits his time spent at UA to be a large contributing factor to his success.

"Playing for the Crimson Tide has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life," says Myneni. "I got to travel and play in one of the toughest leagues in the country, if not the best. By doing so, it helped me mature my game immensely and gave me a lot of exposure. I also got to learn a lot about myself from the outstanding staff who worked with me during my playing time."
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