When 15-year-old Aditya Gupta struck the final ball and the 115th Southern California Junior Sectionals Boys’ 16s title was his back in June, he knew it was because of the hard work on and off the court that he had put in that propelled him to victory.
Junior tennis players in Southern California vary in the amount of time and effort they put into their fitness, training, and diet, but all would agree it is an important factor and sometimes makes the difference between a third-set win. Or loss.
A two-year resident of Irvine originally from Palo Alto, Gupta recently shared some of his training tips and exercises that have made him one of the top 5 players in his age division in Southern California. Gupta made the move south two years ago to train at USTA Training Center – West in Carson, then moved to Advantage Academy before settling in at the Woodbridge Tennis Club where he is coached by Chuck Brymer and Chris Lewis.
“It was great to win Sectionals and see the hard work my coaches and I put in pay off,” said Gupta, who upset the top-seeded 16s player in March at the Carson ITF Spring Internationals. “
During the summer, Gupta would report to the club at 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. A three-hour run was followed by on-court drills and training. After a break for lunch, Gupta would return to the courts at 2:30 till 6 p.m. for more on-court work.
A Woodbridge High junior, Gupta said his routine changes during the school year as he trains daily from 2:30 to 6 p.m. After returning home, Gupta stretches for 15 to 20 minutes. “It’s usually all on-court, except for Friday when I do one hour of off-court fitness,” Gupta said, adding that the on-court drills are pretty intense and he would prefer to work out more on-court than off.
“It’s important to me to be fit because I know if I need to outlast a guy, then I can, instead of just trying to hit winners,” he said. “At Sectionals it wasn’t really my fitness that got me through because I was just playing so well in general,” he said. “I never really had a taxing match. But because I was in good shape I knew it made me play at a higher level.”
Gupta does regular exercises like sit-ups and lunges, and even uses a stationary bike at home and rides up an incline.
Gupta is careful about what he eats, but doesn’t want to limit himself to dieting. “I’m not going to modify my diet for tennis,” he said, likely sharing the sentiment of most 15-year-old tennis players. “I eat pretty healthy already. I don’t know many juniors that eat bad things. We know what to eat. After a match I’ll have some chocolate match for recovery. But I don’t say I have to have this many carbohydrates or this much protein.”