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


OTZ Interview with Rajeev Laungani

It is time for OhioTennisZone's fourth pre-season interview. This interview is with St. John's Jesuit's Rajeev Laungani. Laungani is a Case Western Reserve recruit and a two-time state qualifier in doubles.

Joey Thomas
SJJ's Rajeev Laungani - Click to enlarge
Coach Jim (JD) Davis insures that St. John's Jesuit (SJJ) faces other strong teams by traveling throughout the state. Laungani stated, "It's hard to get competition in the city [Toledo] as Cincy, Columbus, and Cleveland teams can do, so it's good that we get that exposure before States to see what how the other teams look." Laungani also really enjoys the camaraderie that the team experiences on their van rides throughout the state. SJJ will be traveling three out of the four weekends in April, and SJJ has done this for Laungani's tenure with the team.

Laungani is a math/science guy and he has taken 10 AP classes at St. John's Jesuit. He will be ready for college. St. John's Jesuit (click for academic information) is another high-achieving high school and it has been listed on the Gerber Analytics' Top Academic Ohio High School list six out of the last eight years.

Other colleges that Laungani considered included: Johns Hopkins, Boston University, and University of Toledo. He visited both Johns Hopkins and Toledo. He selected Case Western because "It was not too far and not too close. ... I also really wanted to study engineering and Case is one of the best for that. And then [there is] the coach, Coach Todd [Wojtkowski]. I've only heard good things about him with improving players and improving his program. So, it's a combination of academics, closeness to home, and coaching."

His father's name is Raj and his mother, Bina. His brother, Dev, is a sophomore on this year's team. Laungani played travel soccer up until 7th grade and basketball until 6th or 7th grade. He would have liked to concentrate on tennis earlier but his dad encouraged him to stay with soccer an additional two years for the footwork benefits.

Laungani is a 3-star and he is ranked 368th among all U.S. seniors. He has a Universal Tennis Rating of 10.96. These results should place Laungani in a great position to contribute in Case's lineup next year. He was not as active in the most recent non-high school season as in previous years as he prepared for college, and his ranking suffered as a result. His USTA record was 8-11 over the last 12 months. His best National Ranking was 194th in 2014. Even though he was not as active in the summer, he will be ready for the high school season.

Laungani's weapon of choice is his forehand. He also prides himself in his movement. His favorite shot is his "forehand on the run." His current goal is to improve his serve consistency. The serve is currently in the 110 mph range.

When asked about his goals, Laungani's replied, "My first goal is for the team to win a State title, because I saw that happen right before I came in [at St. John's Jesuit] in 2011. I really want that for our team because it is so cool and I've seen Sycamore do it for the last two years. I know a lot of guys on the Sycamore team and seeing them have that emotion after winning just makes me want it that much more for our team." SJJ lost Kevin Brown (playing at Denison) and Trevor Majdalani (playing at Findlay) due to graduation but he expects last year's freshmen class to make solid contributions as sophomores.

His goal in individual play is to win States but he acknowledged that the competition will tough. Other players Laungani expects to have to deal with in D1 singles include: Massillon Jackson's Joey Thomas, Sycamore's Alex Taylor, Upper Arlington's Jack Zelezny, and Kenston's Nico Mostardi and Austin Barr.

Outside of tennis, Laungani likes to hang out with friends and watch sporting events. Laungani is regrettably a _ichigan fan. He uses Twitter and his handle is @rajeev_laung.