Name: Dhruthi Daggubati
School: Batavia, senior
Why she was selected: Daggubati took second place at No. 1 singles at the DuKane Conference meet as Batavia won its fourth consecutive team championship.
Daggubati was voted by readers as the Kane County Chronicle Athlete of the Week in an online vote. Here is her interview with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.
Welge: What does it mean to win four straight conference titles as a team?
Daggubati: It’s crazy that we’ve won four years in a row. The team, my coaches and my teammates, we all support each other so much. We take the bonding to the next level. We all went to Hilton Head this summer and we hung out. They have given me so much support through every win and every loss. I want to continue the Batavia legacy. I know I will be back next summer to teach and work with the younger kids.
Welge: What was that championship match like? It sounded like it was quite the marathon [a 6-7 (8), 7-6 (8), 10-6 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South’s Brooke Ittersagen].
Daggubati: There has been so much competition in our conference this year. Brooke is a good player. I had a good lead in the second set, I let my guard down for a split second, she played well and took advantage of it. It was a tough fight but I enjoyed it.
Welge: How has your season gone otherwise?
Daggubati: Pretty good. I am 26-6 right now. I think [seeded] 12th in the state. I’ve been doing pretty good in dual meets, was seeded first at conference, played well at Pekin, which I won. I feel like this year as opposed to previous years I’ve been trying to play smarter tennis, to be patient and wait for opportunities instead of just pounding the ball every shot. Even though I was an underdog in a lot of matches I was able to get wins because I feel I wanted it more.
Welge: How did you get started playing tennis?
Daggubati: I started playing around middle school. I played a ton of sports as a kid, was put in so many lessons. My dad started playing tennis, shout-out to my dad for teaching me and pushing me to work harder. He gives me constructive criticism even when I don’t want to hear it. I didn’t think I would be in the spot I am now but I kept working at it.
Welge: Besides tennis, what are some of your other interests?
Daggubati: School takes a lot of my time. I take a lot of difficult classes. It can be stressful, but tennis is an outlet. Tennis can be intense but it’s a different kind of intense. I’m into music. I play some instruments like piano and violin. I tutor kids, even teaching kids in other countries.
Welge: What are your plans after high school?
Daggubati: I want to go to college for something in the sciences, biology or environmental engineering. Hopefully I can get some tennis, too, with the school’s team or club.