When your top two singles players are ripping it up, it makes sense to link them together to form a formidable doubles team.
That’s what Lake Washington High coach John Stalker did two weeks ago, and the move paid off big time when junior Shubhu Purohit and freshman Nedim Suko bonded to win the 3A KingCo title. The Kangs knocked off Mercer Island’s Kevin Chen and Jack Mattox, 6-2, 6-2, on Oct. 10 at Mercer Island Country Club.
“They’re both exceptional players,” said Stalker, who noted that the Kang duo played some doubles in practice this season, but officially got on board to prepare for KingCo on Oct. 4. Five days later, the title was theirs after going 4-0 in the tournament.
Earlier in the season, Stalker spoke with Purohit, who said, “Boy, we’d be really tough at doubles,” and the pairing with Suko was lodged in their minds, soon to become a reality.
Stalker said that Purohit has an intimidating serve and forehand, “he just blasts away.” As for the 6-foot-1 Suko, the coach said he’s “exceptionally cool under pressure, he’s very steady and hits the ball hard.”
The players have mutual respect for each other and team up well on the court, Stalker said. It was a big deal for the Kangs to beat out the talented Mercer Island and Bellevue players in the tough KingCo tournament, the coach added
Next up is the district tournament in the spring.