Sophomore Caroline Mehta eyes the ball in a match against San Juan High School. (Photo by Alex Kardasopoulos)

Tennis star Caroline Mehta goes her own way for practice, still makes playoffs

Not going to tennis practice has turned out well for sophomore Caroline Mehta. For two years in a row Mehta has made it to the division playoffs.

Mehta remained undefeated for 11 consecutive matches until the playoffs on May 2, when she lost her first match 4-6 against West Campus, a Division III school, and was eliminated from the competition.

According to coach Haitham Batarseh, Mehta could have won the match, but she got bored with the game.

Mehta advanced to the playoffs after defeating all of the women’s singles competitors in her league.

Mehta claimed easy victories in the league competitions, winning a majority of her matches 6-0, 6-1 Batarseh said. Felipe Monroy, Mehta’s private coach, considers Mehta’s strongest moves her serve and her groundstroke.

Mehta has achieved this without attending tennis practice regularly.

“I went to practice a couple times last year and I didn’t feel as if it was helping me,” she said.

Instead, Monroy, who has been coaching her since she began playing at the age of five, worked with Mehta two to three hours a week.

As a result Mehta only plays singles.

“When kids have gotten as good as Caroline has gotten, they play singles,” Monroy said.

Mehta finds that the tournaments she used to compete in up until a year ago were more challenging.

“At these competitions she did fairly well, but she never got a state or national ranking,” Monroy said.

When Mehta was a member of the U.S. Tennis Association and the Sacramento Tennis Association, she participated in northern California tournaments hosted at Arden Hills.

“I feel like the people in my league I play now are not as experienced as I am,” Mehta said. “Although we have good rallies in the matches, I could be playing people at a higher level.”


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