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October 26, 2023

From one brother to another

Patel paves way for younger brother in tennis program
Coppell junior tennis co-captain Shay Patel is following in the footsteps of his older brother, CHS 2022 graduate Vinay Patel, and paving his path in the program. In addition to earning multiple notable accolades, Patel brings a unique style and perspective to the team. (Sukirtha Muthiah)

Picture this: Then-Coppell freshman tennis prodigy Shay Patel earns a coveted spot on the varsity team while his older brother, Vinay Patel, not only holds the senior status but also is the  team captain. The court is their canvas, and their dynamic partnership leaves an enduring mark within CHS tennis.

Siblings often share a special bond, one that can be both supportive and competitive. For the Patel brothers, Vinay and Shay, their shared passion for tennis not only strengthened their brotherly connection, but also elevated their game to new heights.

As a freshman in  fall of 2021, Shay’s arrival on the CHS tennis scene was nothing short of exceptional. He didn’t just make the varsity team. He made a statement with his talent and determination. Shay’s rapid ascent through the ranks was impossible to ignore.

“Shay has always been very helpful and is able to lead groups effectively; he is definitely humble, but his competitiveness is shown on the court when he’s playing against our opponents,” said junior Ansh Aitha, a member of the Coppell tennis team. “Both of the Patel brothers’ personalities are extremely different; however, their tennis careers are very similar, and their successfulness on the tennis courts has been displayed these past three years.”

What sets Shay apart from his older brother is not just his impressive playing style, but also his unique approach to the game. While Vinay was known for his powerful baseline game and strategic net play, Shay brings his own strengths to the court. His agility, precision and ability to read his opponents set him apart as a formidable player.

“I admire Shay’s ambition,” Vinay said. “We would always do everything together. With all the sports we played while growing up, eventually, we settled on tennis being the one. I would help him practice and coach him. When it comes to school and academics, I would tutor him, so our relationship has always been really close. He’s always been the one more willing to go to practice and play more tournaments, which is essentially one of his best qualities.”

However, as all good things must come to an end, so did Vinay’s high school tennis career when he graduated in 2022. Vinay had left behind a legacy as a fierce competitor and an inspirational leader. He set a high bar for the Patel name, and the question remained: Could Shay match his older brother’s achievements and continue the Patel legacy?

Coppell junior tennis co-captain Shay Patel hits a forehand during practice on Sept. 18. In addition to earning multiple notable accolades, Patel brings a unique style and perspective to the team. (Sukirtha Muthiah)

After Vinay’s graduation, Shay was faced with the challenge of forging his path without his older brother by his side. Since he was originally forced into playing tennis because of his older brother, it was during this time that Shay began to realize just how much he loved the game of tennis.

 His commitment to the sport paid off, currently holding the impressive rank of No. 3 on the varsity team with an 8.1 Universal Tennis Rating (UTR). Shay has acquired accolades, including the team’sMost Valuable Player, 2022-23 district championship and the Outstanding Coppell Singles award. However, Shay’s impact goes beyond the medals and awards; it’s his leadership and passion that make him a standout player.

“Shay is genuinely the kindest player I’ve met,”  Coppell coach Alyssa Noonan said. “As it is my first year being the tennis coach at CHS, he makes my job much easier by helping the team with training for each weekly match over time and by showing me how hardworking he is and how he never gives up. Shay has a very good tennis IQ, which is shown by him earning the third spot on the ranking ladder among the 60 tennis players at CHS.”

Of the many remarkable high school tennis players, Shay Patel’s story shines as a testament to determination and self-discovery. While he continues to honor his family’s legacy, he is also carving a unique path to success. 

“The best advice I would give to anyone wanting to improve their tennis game is to practice as much as possible and to give it your all by showing up every day at practice and spending lots of time outside of required practice time, which I tried my best doing during my freshman and sophomore years, being an attribute I originally learned from Vinay,” Shay said. “As one of the team’s captains, I try my best to lead by example and to help anyone on our team who needs it.”

As the 2023-24 tennis season unfolds and Shay continues to make his mark on the court, there’s no doubt that he’s living up to the legacy his older brother left behind. However, Shay’s journey is far from over; it’s a path of determination and boundless potential.

Follow Rhea Choudhary (@rhea_choud) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Rhea Choudhary
Rhea Choudhary, Staff Writer
Rhea Choudhary is a junior at Coppell High School; she first took a step in D115 in order to pursue photography for The Sidekick. Despite her initial intentions, she is now a second year member, returning as a staff writer. At first, thought she wasn't the best fit for writing, but after deciding to give it a shot, she soon realized that she let her fear keep her from finding what she truly enjoys doing!  As an avid show binger, Rhea’s top three shows include Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill, as she can go on for hours talking about any of them. She also loves watching classic Hindi movies (with lots of iconic songs and actors in them), along with consistently enjoying listening to her 24-hour Bollywood music playlist, on a loop. Her favorite food is drunken noodles and sushi, along with loving any sweets that contain milk chocolate or caramel. As a member of HOSA, Rhea hopes to pursue a future career in medicine, specifically to become an oncologist. Rhea has completed her Bharatanatyam arangetram, a solo debut/graduation, and is still a dedicated dancer. As an only child that keeps the volume in her house very high at all times, Rhea’s number one friend is Teddy Graham, her mini goldendoodle. Feel free to reach Rhea at [email protected] or follow her on X @rhea_choud.
Sukirtha Muthiah
Sukirtha Muthiah, Business Manager
Sukirtha Muthiah is a junior and the business manager for The Sidekick. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading way too many historical-fiction novels, and dancing. You can contact her at [email protected] or on X (@suki_muthiah).

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