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.