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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Men’s tennis player Misha Kvantaliani reflects on his final season at Wichita State

Bryan Chavez
Graduate student Misha Kvantaliani goes up to serve in his match on Jan. 26.

Misha Kvantaliani’s tennis journey began when he was just 5 years old living in Ukraine. Now, in his last season of collegiate tennis, Kvantaliani is reflecting on his tennis career and looking to the future.

Kvantaliani, now a graduate student at Wichita State, recalled how after moving to the United States, his first tennis team made him feel more at home. Now, he still stays with one of his first teammates over winter and summer breaks.

“I didn’t really have any friends here,” Kvantaliani said. “I got to meet some people on my first team, friends that I’m still with.”

According to Kvantaliani, one of the biggest struggles he had in playing collegiate tennis, in the United States was adjusting to the different courts.

“That was really tough at first, because back where I’m from, we play on slower courts, on a clay court which is kind of like dirt,” Kvantaliani said. “But then in America, there are only hardcourts which are much faster courts and you cannot slide on them  … It was tough to adjust to that at first but now (it’s) a little bit more natural.”

Kvantaliani is currently studying to get his masters degree in sports management at Wichita State and will graduate in May. Upon graduation, he hopes to stay in the United States to work as a tennis coach.

“I tried to keep myself in the sports industry,” Kvantaliani said. “I wanted to focus a little bit more on tennis if I could.”

In his final season, Kvantaliani is looking forward to his future tennis matches. But injuries have been a test for the whole team.

“I feel like (it’s been difficult) for the whole team,” Kvantaliani said. “We didn’t start off great in terms of injuries … But despite that, I feel like we’re still doing good. We have a really tough schedule this season as well.”

Kvantaliani enjoys spending time with the community that tennis has given him. In addition to games, Kvantaliani said the team members frequently hang out outside of tennis, playing poker and video games or going to dinners as a group.

“(My favorite thing is) spending time with the team, whether it’s on the court or off the court,” Kvantaliani said. “Making memories with friends, having good wins. And even after some tough losses too, we’re there for each other and support each other.”

The men’s tennis team will play next on Friday, Feb. 16. against the University of New Mexico at Genesis Rock Road.

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About the Contributors
Avery Gathright
Avery Gathright, Reporter
Avery Gathright is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. Gathright is a secondary education major with an emphasis in English. She hopes to eventually teach AP Literature. Gathright uses she/her pronouns.
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Photographer
Bryan Chavez is a first-year photographer for The Sunflower. He is a freshman at Wichita State, majoring in Journalism and Media Production. Chavez is from Dallas, Texas, and wants to pursue a career as a professional sports photographer. Chavez's pronouns are he/him.

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