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Player Q&A: Arnav Jain
Tennis standout Jain has forged legacy of winning on and off courts
March 12, 2011Tweet
Senior tennis player Arnav Jain has produced many memorable moments on the tennis courts in his young career. From winning a national title in India at age 16 to becoming the first Bearcat to post a singles win in the NCAA tournament, Jain has built a championship legacy. His parallel performance as a scholar-athlete and his path from Mumbai, India to Binghamton University is explored in this feature.
When did you start playing tennis?
At the age of five.
What do you like most about tennis?
Getting to play matches. Especially in college the atmosphere is great so that’s one thing that I love about tennis right now ... the ENERGY!
What is most difficult about tennis?
I don’t really find tennis to be difficult since I have been playing for 17 years but it’s the balancing of tennis, studies and fun. That’s tough to balance sometimes.
How did it feel winning the Under 18 National Championship in India as a 16 year old?
It was one of my proudest moments. Not only because I was 16 but also because I was going through a rough phase in my tennis career so it was an incredible feeling to be a national champ and boost my confidence again.
Why did you choose to go to Binghamton University?
I heard a lot about the business school and also about the tennis coach from a common friend of mine and Coach Cohen’s. So it was a perfect fit for me.
How was the transition coming from India to Binghamton?
It was a big change because I was living in a big city that is always buzzing so there are a million things that I could do. So Binghamton turned out to be really quite and slow for me, but aside from this I was able to get around pretty easily with the team and get involved in school.
What were the struggles you faced coming from India to the United States?
The culture today that youth follow in India is an exact replica of U.S. teenagers and college students, so I knew what to expect coming here. It was pretty easy to get along with.
How did it feel to become the first Bearcat to post a singles win in the NCAA tournament with a 7-6, 6-0 win at No. 5 singles?
It was a great feeling. At first I was not aware of this, but when I came to know I was very happy to be able to share this achievement with my team. With all of us being together and working together I believe it definitely helped me achieve this.
What is your biggest memory from the 2009-2010 season?
It would definitely be the day when we all found out that we made it into the national rankings for the first time as a Division I school. It was a proud moment for all of us. We felt rewarded for the constant hard work we had put in on and off the court. It is something I will always remember being a contributing part to the team that became the first national ranked tennis team at Binghamton University.
How is it being a student-athlete here at Binghamton?
Being a student athlete is never easy but I enjoy every bit of it. We have a great coach and an amazing team who are not only great players but also great human beings so it’s a pleasure for me. I am in the School of Management so I am having a great student-athlete experience.
Being a senior this year, what would you like to achieve?
I would like to end my tennis career by winning the conference and also keep up the good work in school that I have shown in the last year.
How do you feel about everyone on the team being from different countries?
I think it’s awesome because you get to meet different people, learn from them and realize that they are not so different. We have great team chemistry and this could be a good reason for it.
Who are your role models? Why?
Definitely my grandfather. He was extremely hard working and dedicated to what he believed in. He accomplished a whole lot but was still able to remain grounded and giving. I aspire to be a little like him one day.
Have your parents ever been able to watch you play tennis here?
Do they understand what it’s like to play tennis on a college team?
They have no idea actually. They are more concerned with me eating well and studying hard.
What are you short and long term goals?
Short term would be to win the American East tournament again and advance to NCAA rounds. Long term is very basic for now, get a job in the U.S. or India and get my life on the right track after college.