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Sports

The Chronicle

October 22, 2013

Double trouble at the tennis centre
Sisters
locked in
this season

Shane MacDonald
The Chronicle

At first sight they look
like veterans of the women’s
Ridgebacks tennis team. They
are familiar, intense, and
emotional.
But
although
SanKavy Prema Kumar and
Ragavey Prema Kumar are not
new to on the UOIT team, they
have played doubles together
for most of their lives. The
first-year
sisters
made
their mark on the Ridgebacks tennis team with their
competitiveness. Every game,
every set, every move is under
scrutiny by each of the sisters.
They critique each other at every opportunity and sometimes
it hurts their performance.
UOIT’s first match against U
of T in September was a loss.
All over the Campus Tennis
Centre Ridgebacks players
were losing, but a couple were
getting angry about it.
“We definitely could’ve won

Shane MacDonald

TWO SISTERS: SanKavy and Ragavey Prema Kumar at the Campus Tennis Centre
it but I guess nerves and frustration with each other got to
us and I think I snapped at her
(Ragavey) or she snapped at
me on the court and it was just
downhill from there. I think we
lost 8-1,” says SanKavy of the
match.
She says it can be difficult for
the sisters to control their tempers with each other.
Off the court the sisters are
always smiling and cheerful.
On the court the smiles leave

their faces and intensity takes
over. The usual laughing is replaced by hushed voices during
games.
The sisters keep their cool
for the most part on the court
but when they come off to talk
to Chelsea Kerstens, assistant
coach of the women’s Ridgebacks tennis team, they sometimes lose their temper with.
“Both of them are equally
guilty of it. They are quick to
critique each other,” says Ker-

stens.
After games, she does her
best to remind the sisters to let
it go - no matter the out come.
“I have to tell them, ‘okay! The
match is done! You guys won
or you didn’t and you have to
work on this, this and this but,
there is no sense (in dwelling
on it),” she says, adding the sisters play their best when they
are relaxed.
“You get ten seconds to be
angry at what you just did and
then five seconds to gather
yourself again and then another five seconds to be ready to
go,” says Kerstens.
Even as SanKavy prepared
to play her final singles match
at the OUA championships on
Thanksgiving weekend, Ragavey threw in a few jabs.
“You better win and redeem
yourself for our doubles match
yesterday,” she says.
This small comment gets
them off to the races.
“My fault? It was you!” says
SanKavy as they continue on
right up until her match starts.
Kerstens says when the sisters go at each other they are
generally easy on one another.
“You can tell they get on each
others nerves but they’re really
light hearted,” she says “It’s
never in a nasty sort of way.“
The sisters live together,
commute together, are in the

33

same program and play together. For some, spending this
much time with a sibling would
be unbearable, but the sisters
can cope.
“If you’re playing with a
stranger or another member
you’re not related to and you
feel some frustration you can’t
really convey that because it’s a
different dynamic, but if you’re
related, you can fight and get
over it or have an argument
and get over it much quicker,”
says Ragavey.
Kerstens says the girls fight
every game and that it’s just
how they operate.
“There is positive communication as well,” says Kerstens
as if it were unbelievable. “They
get amped up, and you can
tell they are very competitive.
When they get going, it’s exciting to watch them.”
The girls are excited to keep
playing tennis at UOIT.
“I would love to be the first
seed but I know how competitive it is. I don’t think I’m ready
for that just yet but I definitely
would want to battle it out with
my sister to be second [seed]
because I definitely think I deserve to be second,” says SanKavy, to which Ragavey said,
“I’ve been playing three and
she has been playing four all
season so I’d love to battle her
on that.”