WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI -- With how dominant Anika Yarlagadda was on the tennis courts this season, it might be a surprise to know that she is only a frehman as well.
The star of West Bloomfield's girls tennis team this spring, Yarlagadda went undefeated this season -- without losing a set in the process -- to claim the Division 1 title in No. 1 singles. For her stellar efforts this spring, Yarlagadda is the 2016 MLive Detroit Player of the Year for girls tennis.
Facing Grosse Pointe South’s Raven Neely, the state's top senior, Yarlagadda showed her prodigal dominance with a 6-1, 6-4 win in No. 1 singles to claim the title.
"I told myself that I'm a freshman, she's a senior," Yarlagadda said after her victory. "I have four years. She has all the pressure. Just keep hitting the ball. She's a big hitter. Just bear through her."
Yarlagadda kept her cool like any champion would and showed why she is the top 10 in the nation for her age group.
"She got frustrated," Yarlagadda said of Neely. "I used that to my advantage. Then I held serve at 4-all. That was important."
With three more seasons ahead of her, Yarlagadda will attempt to become the third Michigan athlete to win four No. 1 singles titles and the first athlete to do it in Division 1.