The Radnor junior captured the Central League singles championship this fall, in her second season of holding down the No. 1 singles spot for the Raiders. She was Radnor’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore, posting a 14-3 record (9-2 league) and earning first team All-Central League honors.
Q: What is your sharpest memory of the Central League singles championship?
A: It would definitely be before I went on to play the final against Cassidy Landau from Conestoga. I’ve played her probably six or seven times and I was so determined to beat her to get the title. Although she withdrew with an injury, I was glad that I was able to play one of the best matches I’ve ever played against a friendly rival.
Q: How do you see your leadership role on the team as Radnor’s first singles player for the past 1 ½ seasons?
A: I’ve never really viewed myself as a leader of the team since there are senior captains who get everyone pumped before matches, but I’m honored that I can take on the role of being at the top of the ladder and try to motivate the rest of the team to play their best.
Q: What do you feel has been your best match of the season to date? What was working particularly well for you that day?
A: I think my best match of the season would be when I played Cecilia Denis at Lower Merion. I remember winning the first set fairly easily and getting panicked once she started the second set out very aggressively. I lost the second set, but I was able to maintain my calm and close it out in the third without dropping a game. I chose this match because I kept my concentration well, and was able to forget about the last couple sets to get the win.
Q: Who are your favorite tennis players? Do you try to pattern your game after any of them?
A: My favorite tennis player is Juan Martin del Potro. He has one of the best forehands in the world and I think my forehand is my best shot. I remember watching him being down two sets to love against Dominic Thiem in the U.S Open and coming back to win it in five. I admired his will to win and his not giving up. I think our games are very similar because we both rely on our forehands and use our backhands to just keep us in the point unless we get the chance to hit a winner.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?
A: I think the strongest part of my game is my forehand, and lately, I believe that my movement on the court has been helping me out a lot by getting to shots that I normally could not have gotten to before. Most of my winners come from my forehand during matches. I’m currently working on coming into the net and finishing points with volleys, swing volleys, and overheads. I used to be scared of going to the net, but now I have gained more confidence and it has been appearing more in my game.
Q: Who have been your top tennis mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from them?
A: My top tennis mentor is my coach, Jarrod Grant. He’s been helping me get better at the sport for the past four years, and my game has drastically improved since I have started working with him. He tells me to stick to my game plan and not give up when I’m playing a match.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-match preparation the day of a match.
A: Sometimes before a match, I’ll find someone to hit with and I’ll warm up all of my strokes until I feel comfortable. Other times I’ll make sure to stretch and jump rope to get my heart rate going.
Q: What is your favorite tennis venue, and why?
A: My favorite tennis venue is probably Louis Armstrong Stadium at the U.S Open. It’s big, but it’s not as big as Arthur Ashe, which I like because it feels more intimate.
Q: What is your favorite academic subject at Radnor High School? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly appeals to you at the present time?
A: My favorite subject at Radnor would probably be English. I like writing and answering questions that don’t have a specific answer. Lately, I’ve been thinking about majoring in business, or possibly international business because I am half Japanese and bilingual, so I think I could go far with a job in the field.
Fun facts – Kanon Ciarrocchi
Favorite place to visit: Tokyo, Japan
Favorite pre-match meal: Pasta with chicken.
Family members: parents Steve and Hiromi, younger sister Leina Ciarrocchi.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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