Freshman is an ace at tennis

Degtyaryov ranked 22nd in state, 106th in U.S


Jonathan Degtyaryov, then 11, participates in the Little Mo International tournament in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Shlok Gore, Staff Writer

Branham High is already home to a wide variety of elite athletes, and this year, we have a new addition. Jonathan Degtyaryov is ranked 22nd in California and 106th nationally in the sport of tennis.  He’s also just a freshman.

Jonathan started to play tennis when he was a young kid.  He was introduced to the sport because his whole family was into it.

“I started tennis at my old apartment complex when I was four or five,” Degtyaryov said. “I did it because my dad and sister were doing it and it looked really fun, so I wanted to try, too.”

He sees tennis in his future too, as he has big dreams and aspirations in this sport.

“My biggest goal is to play college tennis,” Degtyaryov said.

He’s working towards his goal by working hard at practices and pushing himself to keep on getting better.

Balancing school, the exhaustive tennis regimen, and social activities, Degtyaryov uses his own system to keep himself on top of things. Homework and studying takes priority over tennis conditioning, but he makes sure there is time for his extracurriculars.

On the topic, he says, “School comes first and then whenever I have time, I practice.”

He has great motivation towards excelling in the sport of tennis, and it shows in his commitment.  After school from 8 pm to 9:30 pm, he has practice at his tennis club.  His tournaments are usually conducted on weekends.

When asked about his training regimen, he said, “Unlike most players, I don’t dedicate too much time to baseline shots, instead I just practice my serves and focus on keeping my shots intact.”

All this practice is preparing himself for his overall goal: to participate in the Kalamazoo National Championship Tournament commissioned by the United States Tennis Association.

This is an invitational competition that only elite tennis players can enter.  Starting in early August, this is Degtyaryov’s goal.

In order to reach his goal of competing in a National Championship, Jonathan says, “I need to keep practicing like I am currently doing, and also I need to be more physical both when I play and when I go over my technique.”