Lake Washington senior Shubhu Purohit unleashes a shot during a match last week against Bellevue. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Lake Washington senior Shubhu Purohit unleashes a shot during a match last week against Bellevue. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Purohit feels at home in Lake Washington’s top singles spot

Kang senior and partner Suko won 3A state doubles tourney last season

Shubhu Purohit — pronounced “pro hit” — notes with a smile that he’s got a tennis last name, so it’s perfect that he resides on the court in the sports realm.

The senior with a rocket serve returns to the No. 1 singles spot this season for the Lake Washington High squad. Last season, he paired with freshman singles star Nedim Suko to notch the 3A state doubles crown in Kennewick. The duo defeated Michael Campbell/Thomas Sui of North Thurston, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, to complete the trifecta of claiming state, district and league titles.

Suko has opted to take his high school courses via the Internet and travel to national tennis tournaments, according to LW coach John Stalker, whose squad was 1-1 in 3A KingCo and 3-1 overall at press time.

While Purohit, 17, enjoys attacking at the net in the fast-paced and entertaining doubles game, he likes returning to singles, where it all began for him as a LW freshman. It’s a bit nostalgic to come full circle, he said, and remembers starting out against the big Kang guys who were also driving their cars home after practices and matches. He was in awe of the whole scene.

At singles, he still jolts forward to the net and likes to finish points nice and clean, he said. Playing with confidence and passion is what it’s all about.

Following the state tournament, “I think keeping my head was probably one of the biggest take-aways from that. Tennis is, I think, the hardest sport there is, especially when you’re playing singles like one on one, so that gets really brutal and I think that’s what makes it really worth it.”

Purohit is a very detailed-oriented individual who remembers shots, scores, type of match, opponents’ personalities and whether he had a good or bad day “at the office” when discussing his LW career. He competed at the KingCo and district tournaments as a freshman and sophomore and made his first state appearance last year.

“Let’s go boys!” Purohit yells to his teammates on the court after he won his singles match against his Bellevue opponent last week at a home contest.

He thrives on the team atmosphere, which he missed while playing in United States Tennis Association tournaments.

While watching last week’s match, he noted: “When you have 11 guys who are hollering at each other across six courts, win-lose, everybody’s getting a little rowdy, kind of like what teenage boys are supposed to do… It makes it a lot more entertaining, and it gives you a little more to play for. Keeps the motivation going.”

The Reporter asked Purohit a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:

What’s your favorite restaurant in Kirkland?

I like to eat at Subway a lot, ‘cause I like eating, and getting that quickly is something I like. Thai Kitchen, that’s a nice place over there. (He adds that he’s a vegetarian.)

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

In tennis, I think it might be the little squeaking of the shoes before you serve. Those little tiny things that people do just to annoy you. Off the court, I think getting woken up from naps, I think that might be one of the most annoying feelings I have.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

We actually just went to Spain before the season started. That was really really nice. A little town off the coast of Malaga, which was just really relaxing. Chilling out by the Mediterranean, eating crepes, which did not help the weight (laughs).

What’s your favorite hobby?

I like to play basketball with my friends or soccer with my friends. It’s good to get out and play more team sports. I like to play football with them. I’ll play quarterback sometimes, it’s not really my thing. I like to run and get moving. (On his passing) The accuracy is a little questionable — I get the look sometimes when it’s overthrown (laughs).

What’s your favorite kind of music?

I like rap, but not excessively hard rap. If there’s a real nice kind of fast-paced fluid beat going, like Big Sean’s one of my favorites. The Migos when they’re not doing weird stuff on “Culture II” like they did. I also like some older songs too. “Summer of ’69” isn’t that bad, despite what I might have thought when I heard it on the radio once.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Comedy is definitely “Rush Hour 3,” that was one of the funniest things I saw, it was a complete riot. Just the way they kind of played on stereotypes, but then still had a decent morality of the whole thing, just a whole bunch of little jokes, puns, that funny angry Kevin Hart kind of humor I really like. I’m a huge fan of Marvel — “Avengers: Infinity War,” I thought it was kind of cool to see like 15 other movies kind of culminate into one big one.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports
WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Northwest University’s Ford signs with Seattle Mountaineers
Northwest University’s Ford signs with Seattle Mountaineers

The 6-foot-6-inch forward ended his senior season as the No. 1 rebounder in the nation with 12.03 rebounds per game.

Northwest’s volleyball team stays connected during trying times
Northwest’s volleyball team stays connected during trying times

The squad has been using Zoom to hold weekly meetings during which they check in and pray for each other if needed.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities
No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces
There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.