Christian Kaverud’s role has expanded this year. The Glastonbury High School junior is again serving the tennis team’s #1 singles player and is now mentoring a strong group of underclassmen that have put the team in prime position for a deep run this spring.
Coming into the week, the Guardians have won all eight meets and Kaverud is undefeated in singles play.
“The team has been great. I really enjoy the atmosphere with the guys,” said Kaverud. “This is one of the best teams that we’ve had.”
The team has been so dominant that they have only dropped two total matches overall, winning 52 of 54 individual and doubles matches.
Kaverud has breezed through most of his opponents, yet did find himself down a set during an April 29 match against Farmington’s Shrey Choudary.
After losing the first set (4-6) on some controversial calls, the mentally tough tennis star refocused and began to deliver shots to Choudary’s Achilles’ heel, which was his opponent’s backhand.
“I knew once I started attacking his weakness he had no chance,” recalled Kaverud, who took the next two sets (6-2, 10-6).
Freshmen Joseph Chan and Andrew Risinger have taken turns as the team’s #2 and #3 players in a majority of the matches, competing beyond their years.
Chan has won all seven of his matches and Risinger has won six of seven.
Chan almost dropped the second set against Farmington’s Abhi Mannam before battling back to win (6-3, 7-5).
“They are so mentally strong. I’ve seen a lot of perseverance from them so far,” Kaverud said of the first-year high school players.
Kaverud added that he has focused his attention on the mental part of the game, particularly over the last year.
He estimated that about 85% of the game is mental, saying he used last offseason to improve mentally by using meditation and film study film to prepare for situations like he faced at Farmington.
“I want to reach the point where nothing bothers me in a match. I want to almost act like a robot,” stated Kaverud.
He also began a weight training regime, along with focusing on recovery between matches.
The added elements have allowed him to finish off opponents quicker, bounce back from matches more efficiently, and push through setbacks.
“Once you fix those certain things and you know what to fix, the world becomes your library because you know what you want to look for,” he said.
Prior to the season, Kaverud made his college commitment to Southern New Hampshire University (SHNU).
He said it was important for him to make a decision now, so he can put all of his energy into high school tennis and the various year-round tournaments that he plays in.
“I started looking at colleges really early and narrowed down to a list of three. When I went for official visits I knew Southern New Hampshire was the best fit between the team and the coaches,” recalled Kaverud.
It was at one of his official visits to SNHU that he got an idea to document his high school tennis journey, uploading “day in the life” segments and helpful tips that he has learned throughout the process.
Kaverud’s videos can be found on YouTube by typing in CK Tennis.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin