Spring Signing Week '17: Ajai Shekhera Heads to UCSB
by Rhiannon Potkey, 13 April 2017
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Ajai Shekhera is a park-bred player.
He didn't begin his tennis career at a country club. Nobody in his family had any experience with the sport.
Shekhera aspired to become a soccer star until two friends invited him to hit with them at the local park courts.
Nearly a decade later, Shekhera's friends don't play tennis anymore, and he's going to play tennis in college.
The five-star from Campbell, Calif, has committed to play at UC Santa Barbara.
"I wasn't expecting to play tennis at this level or even tennis at a college," Shekhera said. "I thought I would be playing soccer. But now I am playing tennis and I really enjoy it and I've gone pretty far with it. "
Shekhera took his official visit to UCSB in November and decided to commit the last week of January. He chose to play for Marty Davis and the Gauchos over UC Davis and several Ivy League schools.
"The first thing I was looking for was a good coach, someone I can learn from and then the team. I really liked the team they had this year," Shekhera said. "The campus was great and so was the academics, so I felt like it was the best all-around school for me."
Shekhera became more serious about tennis once a teaching professional at the park saw him hitting and suggested to his father he should take lessons.
He thanks Dana Bargas, for introducing him to competitive tennis at age 10 by entering his first "Little Mo" tournament. It was a new experience for his family.