Bajwa adapts well to doubles play for Nordonia

Roger Gordon
Nordonia Knights

There are high school tennis players who would be none too thrilled if they were switched from singles to doubles.

Not Ranbeer Bajwa.

The Nordonia freshman had the maturity and good sense to accept going from third singles to second doubles about a third of the way through this 2021 season.

“Ranbeer definitely was open to moving to doubles,” Knights head coach Ryan Vehar said. “He himself felt like he could use the change of scenery so to speak by changing to doubles so he wouldn’t be the only guy on the court to having a partner.”

Bajwa won his season-opening singles match at Brunswick, but then he started going up against some tough competition.

“Ranbeer kept coming up against opponents who were moving him around the court,” said Vehar. “In doubles, he’s got less of the court to cover because you have two people covering it. He also needed practice in volleying at the net, and in doubles we could start to see what his volleying skills were. I thought, ‘Why don’t I give him a partner where maybe they can help each other?’

“There were also a couple of people playing doubles who I thought could play singles. After we moved Ranbeer to doubles, we got the majority of our team wins in those matches. It was a good fit all around.”

Bajwa has been learning the doubles game on the fly. It has been a process.

“It’s taken us most of the season,” Vehar said, “to really get Ranbeer in the right spots as far as being close enough to the net so he can attack that volley and get the ball back on the opponent’s side. He was getting himself caught in places that were making it more difficult for him. I think, in the last couple of weeks, he’s finally figuring out where to be on the court.”

Bajwa began last week May 5 by teaming with senior Robin Ghorta and losing 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 during Nordonia’s 4-1 loss at Suburban League crossover rival Kent Roosevelt in a match that originally began April 15.

The next day, on May 6, was the Suburban League Tournament National Conference at Medina Highland, which originally began April 30. Bajwa teamed with senior Jordan Reynolds and fell 6-2, 6-1 to a team from North Royalton. Bajwa and Reynolds then lost in the back draw 8-3 in a pro set to a team from Cuyahoga Falls.

Bajwa was left out of the lineup for Nordonia’s Senior Night match to make room for the seniors Friday against Willoughby South. The Knights won 3-2 to improve to 5-11 on the season.

Bajwa came into this season with pretty solid tennis roots.

“Ranbeer has a good background in tennis. He knows the game well,” said Vehar. “He has good strokes both forehand and backhand and serving and volleying. At times, he can hit that forehand really strong.

"Because of his tennis background, he really kind of analyzes his opponents during a match. He talks with his partner, and they come up with little ideas and strategies. That doesn’t always happen when you have kids of such differing ages coming together for the first time ever. Most of our players didn’t know Ranbeer before the season started, and now they’re playing doubles with him."