Kumar’s dedication, intensity lead both on and off court

Junior Yuvraj Kumar demonstrates his on the court focus. (credit: Jonathan Leung/Photo Editor) Junior Yuvraj Kumar demonstrates his on the court focus. (credit: Jonathan Leung/Photo Editor)

Junior tennis player Yuvraj Kumar has come a long way from his beginnings as a player, both figuratively and literally.

The decision science and policy management major from New Delhi, India is a force to be reckoned with both on and off the courts.

Kumar first became interested in tennis when he was around five years old. “My dad used to play competitively, so his drive sort of passed down onto me,” Kumar said.

While he played a variety of sports — including cricket, basketball, and soccer — tennis was the sport he went into with a competitive mindset.

His prowess with the sport only grew with time, taking him to competitions around and outside of the country.

His proudest moment during this time came when he participated in the Junior Asia Cup as a member of the Indian men’s team.

When the time came to choose a school, he said he wanted a place where he was more than just an athlete: “Academics were in the backseat when I was younger, but they became very important to me by the time I got older.”

Kumar knew he wanted to go to school in the U.S., but he didn’t know exactly where.

Kumar looked at various Division I schools but quickly decided that they would be too one-sided.

As he expanded his search, he found in Carnegie Mellon a place where he believed he could get a multi-dimensional experience.

He welcomed the opportunity for rigorous academic challenges, a motivated team atmosphere, and a wealth of extracurricular activities.

Kumar started playing with the tennis team a week after stepping on campus for the first time as a freshman.

He remembered how thrilling winning his first big match against Amherst College was. “From the start, we were a tight-knit team,” Kumar said.

From then on, he found himself improving in both singles and in doubles. His current singles record of 20-13 is only getting better, and his doubles record stands at 23-16. His chemistry with his teammates has grown considerably.

“The team has gotten a lot more dedicated, driven, and passionate,” Kumar said, citing the strong team-oriented focus all the members have.

He has done particularly well with senior mechanical and biomedical engineering major Bryce Beisswanger; they earned spots on the All-UAA Second Team for the 2012-2013 year and were ranked eighth regionally in doubles for the 2013-2014 year.

Off the courts, Kumar has dedicated time for both the full Carnegie Mellon academic workload and various other commitments.

He is a proud member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and he’s spent a good amount of time involved in the Lunar Gala. “I just wanted to embrace the full college experience,” he said.

He believes that coming to Carnegie Mellon has been one of the best decisions he has made, considering it to be a great privilege to be at a renowned university with so many dedicated people.

Even though he still has a good amount of time left at Carnegie Mellon, Kumar has already set his eyes towards the future.

He wants to work in the finance industry to gain corporate experience.

Afterwards, he wants to be able to start and run his own company, a dream that is coming closer to becoming a reality with each passing day.

However, he certainly won’t let his professional dreams keep him away from his favorite sport. “Tennis will be a part of my life no matter where I go.”