By Mark Ambrogi
A Carmel 10-year-old has quickly made a name for himself in the junior tennis world — and it’s a name that isn’t easy to forget.
Nishesh Basavareddy, a Clay Middle School sixth grader, captured the United States Tennis Association Winter Championships boys 12 singles title in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this month.
“I felt really happy on how I played throughout the tournament,” said Basavareddy, who turns 11 on May 2.
Basavareddy, seeded third, edged No. 1 seed Samuel Landau of Los Angeles for the championship. Basavareddy, who moved to Carmel from Irvine, Calif., in August 2013, lost to Landau in their previous two meetings in California. But Basavareddy is quick to point out his game has improved in the two years since they last played.
“I felt I was really focused,” he said. “I competed hard and I did my best.”
After winning the title, Basavareddy said the family celebrated by going to Las Vegas for three days.
This was his second national title. Basavareddy previously won the boys 12 title in the USTA National Selection Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, in October.
Basavareddy first picked up a racket when he was three years old and started playing competitively when he was seven. His older brother, Nishanth, 13, is Clay eighth grader who also competes in junior tournaments.
Basavareddy started being coached by Indianapolis tennis pros Bryan Smith and his father, Jeff, shortly after moving to Carmel
“I like to play ping pong with my brother and play soccer outside with my neighbors,” said Basavareddy, whose parents were born in India. “I like to do math at school.”