Interview with Nik Shah


Ayla Daoud, Contributor '26

It all ends with the words “Game. Set. Match.” The feeling we get after winning, it is an addiction. We can’t get enough of it. The feeling we get after completely tanking, the anger, the sadness, the pity. One can feel amazing about playing their best and winning a match, but losing is a different animal.

As I began my first high school match at CCD, I can look back remembering how it ended. Going off the court and being hugged and cheered for by my friends and teammates. I also remember that besides our small team, there were not a lot of fans in the crowd. Even though I was not playing at the Roland Garros, and neither were the rest of our team, I came to the conclusion that tennis was one of those underrated sports. Even though we are not tennis professionals, so many of us push and push to our limits behind the scenes.

These past 2 weeks I have had the pleasure to interview Nik Shah, one of the best players on the varsity boys’ team. I really cannot say enough great things about him on and off the court. I have always admired his work ethic, so I thought it would be really interesting to get his take on the game.


Here is some of our dialogue:

Me: “How is your season going so far? Do you have any goals for the season and what is the team doing well in so far?”

Shah: “Season is going well so far. Some goals we have as a team are to beat CHCA and Summit and get 2nd in the conference. We have all been playing well despite some bad matchups and results.”

Me: “What ATP player do you like the most and do you try and model your game off of them?”

Shah: “My favorite player has always been Rafa Nadal and my game is almost exactly modeled after his.”

Me: “What is your favorite shot?” (Side note- it is pretty wicked. I have seen it in action many times!)

Shah: “My favorite shot is the lefty slice serve because it curves into the righty’s backhand and gives them a ton of trouble in singles and doubles.”

Me: “Do you have any unique routines you like to do before your matches?”

Shah: “I have a pretty standard warmup routine that involves some stretches and some hitting. I only have a few exercises I do.”

Me: “What is your favorite pre-match and post-match meal?”

Shah: “My favorite pre-match meal is probably a breakfast bagel sandwich with eggs along with a banana and milk. My favorite post-match meal is probably a spicy Chick-fil-a sandwich and fries.”


I feel that from interviewing Nik Shah, others in our community can really get to know and understand a player’s perspective on the game. Not only is Nik a great tennis player, I later found out too, that he is working with the Cincinnati Tennis Foundation this summer to put on a program for CCD to help others get into the game and learn about tennis. Not only does our school have some of the most gifted students, but we also have some very talented athletes as well. This is why I believe tennis at our school needs to gain more fan base. Some of our tennis players have so much talent that should be showcased. Let’s hope to see you courtside soon!