When Hinsdale South boys tennis coach Steve Snider decided to pair senior Greg Murray and sophomore Rohan Chinwalla as a doubles team, high school practice sessions weren’t enough for the two Hornets.
Murray and Chinwalla, who are members of the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, sought out their own professional instructor for more tips on how to play better as a team. They wound up turning to Tim Jessup, a former college All-American and member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team.
Jessup worked on their physical skills, while Snider honed their mental games during high school practice. Murray said Hinsdale South assistant coach Katie Janicek also played a big role in their preparation.
“[Jessup] taught us more on the court working as one team. He taught us everything he knew about doubles,” Murray said. “Snider taught us a lot about volley and serve, but it was more about the mental aspects of the game.”
Murray and Chinwalla used that volume of information last week to compile a 4-2 record at the state tournament. The Hinsdale South duo was eliminated in the fifth round of the consolation bracket by New Trier’s Thomas Hanley and Wyatt Mayer, 6-2, 6-3. It was only the fifth loss of the season for Murray and Chinwalla, including four in the postseason.
Murray and Chinwalla played with different doubles partners a year ago, so their pairing caught both boys off guard. They knew each other from their tennis club, but because of their separate age divisions and class years, the two had never played regularly together.
The Burr Ridge residents won the West Suburban Gold doubles title to springboard into the postseason.
Last season, Murray went 1-2 at the state meet with partner Eric Wing, while this was Chinwalla’s first trip to the tournament. He had been playing No. 2 doubles with Raman Mathur until Snider suggested he pair up with Murray.
“With Greg, we have a contrast in our style of games, but it went well together,” Chinwalla said. “I play more singles. I feel better at singles, but in doubles with Greg he is the more experienced baseline [player].