Senior commits to play tennis for Naval Academy

October 22, 2015 — by Amith Galivanche

Senior Karthik Padmanabhan will head to Annapolis, Md., after graduation to play tennis for the United States Naval Academy.

Padmanabhan has played on the school’s varsity team since his freshman year and is the No. 1 singles player.

Having played the sport since age 5, Padmanabhan said it has become a huge part of his life and allowed him to form strong and lasting friendships.

“Tennis takes up most of my schedule, and for the last five years or so, I had a tennis tournament almost every weekend, so I ended up with out a lot of time to spend with my school friends,” Padmanabhan said. “As a result, I grew extremely close with my tennis friends, and they are still my closest friends.”

When he was 10, Padmanabhan watched as his older sister, Mika Padmanabhan, a 2010 alumna, then a senior, looked at colleges where she would play tennis, finally ending up at Cal Poly. He realized then that he wanted to follow in his sister’s footsteps and continue with the sport in college.

At the end of Padmanabhan’s  sophomore year, the coach for the Naval Academy’s tennis team reached out to him, and Padmanabhan stayed in touch with him through his junior year.

During this past summer, Padmanabhan narrowed down his offers to five schools: the Naval Academy, Cal Poly, Michigan State, Carnegie Mellon and Harvey Mudd.

After his official visit to the Naval Academy from Oct. 1-4, meeting the tennis players there, getting the chance to hit with them and observing the quality of student life, he knew that he had made his decision, verbally committing to the Naval Academy the following week.

“Overall, it was a great decision,” Padmanabhan said. “I get to play Division I tennis for four years, receive an education from one of the best engineering schools in the country and I get to serve my country after. In every way, it worked out really well.”