Athlete of the Week - Tej Bhagra, Mayo Boys Tennis
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Tej Bhagra knew exactly what he needed to do.
“He’s a big hitter, massive forehand, massive serve just got to keep him deep at all costs and if he gets a short ball its over,” Bhagra said.
His opponent was older, taller and powerful, but when the lights shined brightest Bhagra was ready.
“He loves when its all down to him and he knew how important that point was at No. 1 singles, against a hard-hitter and he stepped up and played his best tennis,” Jeff Demaray, Mayo Head Tennis Coach said.
A key win as Mayo won the section championship and punched a ticket to state.
“I hear the first yell from my boy Caleb Neisen running over to me. It was amazing just towering over to me and we’re all yelling,” Bhagra said.
An impressive feat as he’s just an eighth grader, but that doesn’t matter too much to him.
“I know I’m pretty decent for my age and what not, but it’s like I’m just here to play tennis.”
His game speaks for itself, he’s already a top 10 player, ranked eighth in Minnesota.
“He’s extremely consistent from both sides he really doesn’t have a weakness. From the baseline he’s really improved his serve from last year,” Demaray said.
He also has a work ethic that puts him up with other Mayo greats.
“A lot in the offseason, they play the USTA tournaments, they play the national tournaments and that’s what it takes to really get to the next level,” Demaray said.
Its something Bhagra takes from his favorite player, Rafael Nadal that really sets him apart though.
“The way Nadal can come back from any point in a match, I’m inspired by the way he can fight back and inspires me to do the same,” Bhagra said.
Just an eighth grader, Bhagra is off to a special career and he hopes to end Mayo’s title drought.
“11 year’s with the team, its been quite a while and hopefully we can do it at some point.”
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