Junior tennis player creates edge over opponents

Andrei Sanda to become boys tennis team’s No. 1 seed


Meilani Bitanga

Andrei perfects his serve at the school tennis court on Jan. 23, 2019.

From watching his father play tennis to cheering on his favorite players on T.V., junior Andrei Sanda is on track to become the boys tennis team’s No. 1 seed. In other words, the number one ranked player.

“I started playing tennis when I was about nine years old,” said Andrei. “I’ve been playing since then, so about a good seven years.”

Andrei has been a part of the 14-person team for two years and plays both singles and doubles matches.

“I prefer singles, just because I like to rely on myself during matches,” said Andrei.

His skilled left-hand proves to be a positive asset and immediately puts him at an advantage against his right-handed opponents.

“He is a dominant player,” said boys tennis coach Christina Barnhart. “He is left-handed, which makes him tricky to read. He can hit different shots right-handers have trouble defending.”

Not only is Andrei a gifted player, but he is a helpful coach and teammate. He is patient and is more of a helpful leader than an intruding player-coach.

“He is really knowledgeable about everything,” said junior Josh Minter. “He’s gradually getting me to the right strokes, and he’s focusing on the things that I think are the most important.”

In addition, his form and technique are admired most by his coach.

“I believe that watching Andrei is just more of an art form,” said Barnhart.

For the upcoming 2019 season, Andrei’s one and only goal is to go out onto the court and play his best, a strategy that has proven to be successful for him in previous seasons.

Andrei is equally as talented in the classroom as he is on the courts. Currently, his GPA stands at an impressive 4.2.

“Obviously academics come first, so I try to manage my time wisely, especially when I know I have a match,” said Andrei.

After high school, Andrei hopes to continue tennis, not on a collegiate level but recreationally. His top colleges are University of Virginia and William and Mary.

“I would like to see myself playing after high school, probably not as much for a college team, but definitely hitting around with some friends,” said Andrei.