Captain for the Van Nuys boys’ varsity tennis team in his junior and senior year, Gavin Singh sets the bar high on the courts as the No. 1 player on the team since freshman year.
Singh started playing tennis at the age of 5, when his grandpa, Sukhdev Dail, would take him to the park every day to teach him the strokes and the techniques to control the ball.
After Singh’s grandpa introduced him to tennis by handing him his first racket, his first professional coach, Stepan Hovhannisyan, started coaching him when he was 10.
“You have to build a bond with your coach whether it’s in the sport or personal because he’s the one who can tell what’s going on in your game,” said Singh.
He has played in every kind of tennis competition, from satellites, in which anyone can participate, to invitational only to national and international tournaments.
Back in April 2014, Singh became a finalist at The Ojai Tournament, one of the largest and most well-known junior tournaments in California. He played a total of 16 exhausting hours in just three days.
“I love the feeling of relying on myself and pushing my own capabilities to see how far I can go,” he said.
In his sophomore year, Singh was ranked in the top 50 tennis players in the nation by MaxPreps.
For the boys’ tennis team, headed by Coach Jon Peterson, Singh relieves the pressure on his teammates with his confidence and skills; he challenges his teammates in order to improve their skills and raise the team standard.
“This year, I have my eye set on winning the CIF [California Interscholastic Federation] individuals,” said Singh.
At the Matador Junior Open at CSUN this month, Singh defeated last year’s CIF individual’s champion Ryan Nuno from Granada Hills, 7-5 and 6-2.
After a three-year sponsorship from Wilson, he switched to a sponsorship from Head this past week, a testament to his talent and achievements. The sponsorship covers athletic equipment such as strings, rackets, and bags.
He also holds a sponsorship with Solinco, which covers strings, and he has received a sponsorship from Loriet, a clothing brand.
“I’m really thankful for all this because none of it would have ever been possible without my grandpa,” he said.