The dynamic duo: Jaladi brothers ace the season

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Scotty Peterson

Freshman Raj Jaladi and senior Sri Jaladi pose for a photo after tennis practice. The brothers and teammates had high hopes to play in state but ended their season losing to Priory’s doubles team in the second round of districts. “It’s not like we don’t get along at home, but we communicate best at a tennis match,” Raj said.

Working side by side for their varsity tennis season, freshman Raj Jaladi and senior Sri Jaladi were the top two players on the team. They got to play as a doubles team in districts but their season ended when they lost to Priory’s doubles team. Although the brothers have played tennis at different times in their life, they only just recently started playing together. 

“I think there definitely used to be a rivalry between us. Now I sort of just resigned to the fact that I will always be inferior and that he’s a better player. Previously it was a lot easier for me to just say ‘nope it just isn’t my game’,” Sri said. “I think that playing doubles is a good way to have the same goal in mind, trying to win so when you’re both working towards something together.”

Even though Raj is placed in a higher ranking than Sri, the two do not let it affect their relationship and they believe they have grown closer as siblings throughout the season. The two most enjoyed playing doubles with each other.

“There haven’t been many times where we were on the same page, but [being on the same team] definitely helped in terms of being able to have that same perspective and really be working towards something together instead of not getting along,” Sri said.

Since Sri is a senior, he will not be returning to high school to play with his brother next year, but Raj continues training for next season without his brother. As of right now, he is training to improve his skill, although he is not as much concerned about what ranking he obtains. 

“[Being the top player as a freshman] was definitely a little stressful, but that’s something you just have to overcome. I tried to just go out there and play my match regardless of who it was but that’s hard to do sometimes. It was stressful because even though all the matches counted the same it was all eyes on me so having that [pressure] was a little more stressful but I just had to go out there and play,” Raj said. 

Even though the duo lost in districts, they believe that the matches where they  lost better prepared them to figure out where they needed to improve.

”When you’re winning and you win a match, it’s hard to keep perspective on ‘we still need to get better, there’s room for improvement here, here and here’,” Sri said. “Usually when you’re winning you feel like the points are coming easier and easier, but when you’re losing a match you have to  figure out what’s gonna get you those points. Reflecting on the losses is good for figuring out where to get better and what needs improving.”