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Whiz Kids: Local Tennis Star Kurien Signs With Vassar

Hamden resident and Hopkins students is ranked among top tennis players in the state.

Name: Anusha Kurien

Age: 18

Grade: Senior

School: Hopkins School

Accomplishment: In addition to being ranked among the top 15 junior tennis players in Connecticut, Kurien has also signed a letter of intent to compete on the Women’s team at Vassar College.

“I thought that Vassar catered well to a student-athlete as opposed to a paid athlete, since they don’t offer athletic scholarships at a Division III school,” said Kurien. “Their tennis program is definitely strong because they made it to the NCAA finals, but they’re more concerned about building a person.”

Key to Awesomeness: Time management is key for Kurien. In addition to a challenging academic courseload as a senior at Hopkins School that includes AP biology and calculus, she also hits the tennis courts at Stamford Indoor Racquet Club four times per week for practice sessions with some of the best juniors in the state. Once the school week is over, Kurien spends up to 25 weekends a year competing in the biggest junior tournaments throughout New England.

“It’s hard to do everything, but having set time blocks for tennis and knowing when everything is going to be has definitely made it easier,” said Kurien. “I did end up having to slow down a lot with tournaments while applying to colleges.”

As Kurien prepares for her final season of high school play, she is already looking ahead to her college tennis career and working on a number of areas in her game at Stamford Indoor to help make the transition.

“My coach (Kris Hrisovulos) and I have really just been working on staying in points longer,” said Kurien. “I’m not quite as big as some of the other players, so we’re just working on mixing up my shots.”

Kurien said the variety of shotmaking in her game is her strength, as she aims to take opponents out of a comfortable rhythm and ultimately fluster them.

“I try to give my opponent three different types of shots within a rally so they have something different to look at,” said Kurien. “I really enjoy playing the mental side of the game and find it fun to work through the point in your mind.”

Kurien’s analytical nature also translates to her future academic interests at Vassar, where she said she hopes to take a number of courses in English and Economics.

What’s Next: Kurien is gearing up for her final season of high school play on the Hopkins School tennis team, where she has proved to be an immense asset as their No. 1 singles player. Although the level of play in high school competition is often lower than in USTA tournaments, Kurien said there is still a lot to be gained from it.

“Some of the matches are easier, but a lot of girls end up competing at these bigger tournaments as well,” said Kurien. “It’s just a different atmosphere.”

 

Do you know a Whiz Kid?

Know a great kid who made Eagle Scout or did your local soccer team take the championship? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kids honoree.

Each week, Hamden Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid.  

Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to kathleen.ramunni@patch.com. Be sure to include all of the following information: 

● Nominator's Name● Nominator's E-Mail● Whiz Kid's Name● Whiz Kid's Age● Whiz Kid's School● Whiz Kid's Accomplishment● Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?).

If your nominee is selected, we'll contact you and assign a photographer to take a photo. For questions, e-mail kathleen.ramunni@patch.com.

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