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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

From court to commencement: Tennis best friends ace high school together

Shrey Jain
Shrey and Samik pose together after tennis practice.

Staring at the draw at a regional tennis tournament, Samik Pattanayak noticed that one of his opponents was going to be attending the same middle school as him. That opponent was Shrey Jain. Little did he know that the two would become best friends for the next six years. 

From bonding over tennis, to performing in BnB together to celebrating their senior night together, Samik’s and Shrey’s friendship has never wavered, withstanding all the ups and downs of high school. 

They first met at a tennis tournament in the summer before 7th grade right before Samik, who lived in San Jose, moved to Saratoga and began attending Redwood Middle School. Shrey played for Lu’s Tennis Academy in middle school while Samik trained at Eagle Fustar Tennis Academy. 

Though the two didn’t know each other well at the time, going to RMS and Saratoga High together allowed them to grow closer. Their friendship largely developed through mutual friends in a group best known as “Browntown,” a large friend group consisting mainly of Indian guys.

Once high school rolled around and the tennis season started, the two also found themselves bonding over their shared passion, connecting them beyond just the friend group. Playing together on the high school team brought them closer together, where they updated each other about tennis, school, friends and life in general.

One unique aspect of their friendship is that Samik is only 16-years-old and Shrey is 18-years old, so their age difference has made their friendship similar to the bond between a little brother and big brother. 

They both feel they have shared many memorable moments together, like playing Senior Assassin, practicing on the Bhangra team together and much more. The two have built a strong bond over the years and hope to continue their friendship throughout college.

“[Samik] is like a little brother to me,” Shrey said. “The best way I can describe our bond is like Shawn and Gus from the TV show ‘Psych.’” 

For his part, Samik said, “I think my funniest memory of us together was when we walked back from all league at Cupertino High because our coaches left without us and we went to Ike’s and Yogurtland.” 

Going through niche experiences, Shrey and Samik have been there for each other through the stress of junior year, finding dates to dances and college applications. The two both see qualities in each other that push the other to be better and act as positive influences on each other. Samik especially admires Shrey’s work ethic regarding both school and tennis, and Shrey’s favorite thing about Samik is his lighthearted sense of humor. 

Though they are going to separate colleges — Purdue University for Shrey and UCLA for Samik — both say they have no doubt their friendship will last through college and beyond. 

“People may question if we’re more than friends,” Shrey said. “And they’re right; he’s basically my sibling.” 

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