By Andrea Lopez
Senior Ryan Nuno has been on the tennis team since his freshman year and has been team captain since his sophomore year.
When he started playing at 10-years-old, it was just for fun. He later discovered he had a talent for it and decided to dedicate time into tennis to develop his skills.
Nuno, who comes from a family of tennis players, was pushed by his sisters and father who also have a talent for tennis. Currently, his father is his coach and has him practice 12 hours a week.
“I feel inspired by both of my older sisters who played on the team because they managed to win city championships every year and I wanted to be able to do the same,” Nuno said.
At age 11, Nuno played his first singles tournament. Despite his loss, he felt motivated to get better so that he could win the rematches against opponents he formerly lost to.
In 2011, he joined a club tennis team called the United States Tennis Association before starting high school. Playing on this team allowed him to become more competitive and he was able to see the improvements he was making. In 2012, he won the boys 12 division at the Southern California section of the United States Tennis Championships, meaning he was the best male player, age 12 or younger, in Southern California.
As a member of the school team, Nuno has continued to improve as a player and a teammate, helping others by making sure that they never fear an opponent. He also keeps his teammates focused during practice so that they will be more confident when competing, as well as reminding them how much hard work pays off.
As team captain, it is Nuno’s job to keep everyone organized and in check. During tough matches, Nuno is responsible for reminding them of the skills they have learned during practice and gets the team to show that through on the actual games.
“The team has allowed me to interact and meet new people as well as give me an opportunity to improve my skills as a tennis player,” Nuno said.
Through his junior year, Nuno has won several city and individual championships, and his addition to the team has given the school more titles to be proud of.
“Ryan leads the way with an unbridled enthusiasm and dedication to the sport. He is working hard to finish his high school career as the most decorated individual male tennis player in the history of the LA City Section,” current tennis team coach Simon Robertshaw said.
Nuno says he can see himself continuing tennis through college and eventually play it professionally, hoping to one day become as successful as his inspiration, Rafael Nadal.