Scott Gerber photographed the action photos and most, but not all, of the state qualifier group photos. Interview


OTZ Interview with Alex Taylor

OhioTennisZone's second interview is with Sycamore's Alex Taylor. He is the defending Division I doubles champion.

Alex Taylor
Sycamore's Alex Taylor - Click to enlarge
When asked about his goals for this season, Taylor stated, "Our goals consist of [winning] the GMC championship and the state title. We are going for everything." When asked about individual goals, Taylor said, "We'd love to win both singles and doubles, but I will most likely be playing singles. Nothing is set in stone yet, but that is most likely what I will be doing."

Winning the singles title means out-gunning Massillon Jackson's Joseph Thomas, Kenston's Austin Barr, Upper Arlington's Jack Zelezny, Kenston's Nico Mostardi, and St. John's Jesuit's Rajeev Laungani. Taylor also added that there are many others who could also be tough for him to beat. In team competition, his main concerns are Massillon Jackson, St. John's Jesuit, Kenston, Mason, and Upper Arlington.

To view Taylor's D1 Doubles Championship point with partner Nakul Narendran against Copley's Gavin Aten and Carlos Martinez, click the video to the right. In the video, he is serving the ball to Aten.

Taylor has played tennis since he "could hold a racquet - since 3-4 years old." He also dabbled in soccer until the 6th or 7th grade. His older sister, Olivia, also played tennis. She is currently at medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor's father name is Chuck and his mother is Meicheng.

His club in Cincinnati is Harpers' Point. Others playing at the club include Caty and John McNally, Sycamore's Alexa Abele, Mason's Niraj Komatineni, and King's Hunter Nosak and Alex MacNeal. His pro is Lynn McNally, who is Caty and John's mother.

Even though the college mascot is a purple cow, there were actually other reasons why Taylor selected Williams College. Taylor stated, "I was considering a lot of the schools up there including Amherst and Middlebury. I was [also] looking at John Hopkins, but Williams was just pretty much a perfect fit in terms of campus size. The people were so close-knit and so nice and the academics are the best you can get. It was amazing." Taylor is a math / science guy and he likes physics and computer science. He plans to major in computer science, but he also liked Williams because he thought it would help make him a "well-rounded individual." It also did not hurt that there is another kid from Sycamore named Deepak (no last name necessary) who attends Williams. Taylor said that Deepak really enjoys the university and respects its academics. Taylor also mentioned that the Williams campus reminded him of where he grew up near Yellow Springs, Ohio, which he really liked. He considered playing Division I tennis but the academics were the most important consideration for him.

Taylor has been blessed with good-hand eye coordination and has been working on his consistency. He believes that he can come through with a good shot when it is crunch time. He has also worked on his conditioning in the off-season. When it is time for an OTZ action photo this spring, Taylor has chosen his "backhand" stroke.

He is buckling down on his studies after getting off to a slow start in high school academics. Taylor has a "stacked course load." There is no time for senioritis because he is taking five AP classes including: AP Physics; AP Statistics; AP Calculus; AP English, Literature and Composition, and AP Government. He is also taking Advanced Topics in Computer Science. While he is very proud of himself for "digging himself out of a hole" that he created during his freshman and sophomore year, his warning to freshmen and sophomores is "don't create that hole." Taylor will be ready for college thanks to Sycamore's strong academic tradition. Click to view Gerber Analytics' Ohio Graduation Test analysis for Sycamore.

Taylor had stellar results in last year's high school season. He did not actually have a won-loss record because he did not have any losses. He won all of his 25 singles and 11 doubles matches. Since last year's States, he has gone 13-8 in USTA play. He is a 4-star and he has a UTR of 12.40. His USTA results include wins over St. Charles' Evan Yakubov, Massillon Jackson's Jake Zalenski, and Gahanna's Cameron Raglin (now at Amherst). He has had losses to Jackson's Joey Thomas and Cincinnati Country Day's Asher Hirsch (now at Illinois).

When he's not playing tennis or studying, he likes playing his guitar and ukulele, and hanging out with friends. He uses Twitter and social media, but "less than the average teenager." His Twitter handle is @Ataysian.

There is no report on whether the Williams Purple Cows instill fear in vegan or lactose intolerant opponents, but there are a couple of kids from Sycamore who might.