Kushma looks to maintain momentum on the court

There’s no better way to say it: Chris Kushma is off to a hot start.

The junior tennis player has gone undefeated in singles play in both tournaments he has played this fall, winning the D Flight of the Virginia Invitational the weekend of Sept. 11 before taking home the title at the Georgetown Classic the following week.

“I feel like I won’t lose,” he said, showing the confidence the winning streak has given him heading into this weekend’s Sergio Tacchini Invitational at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.

Though Kushma is a rising star on the tennis team, few know his path to GW. It began in New York City, where he grew up until the age of 8. His father, who played tennis at Princeton, introduced his son to the sport, which the younger Kushma said was always a “family activity.”

Kushma began playing at age 6 – a young age for most activities but considered a relatively late start in tennis. He began playing in competitive junior tournaments when he was 14 years old, six years after his family relocated to London, where he stayed until deciding to come to GW for college in 2007.

Now more than two years into his Colonials career, Kushma said he has not done anything differently that would contribute to his recent success.

“I learn to win when I’m not playing well,” he said. “My style is to be aggressive.”

Though forceful on the court, Kushma likes to stay as relaxed as possible before playing. He said he sometimes listens to music, but always tries to avoid focusing on the upcoming match. He enjoys watching the professionals of his sport, citing Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Mario Ancic as his favorites.

He said he might even try his own hand in a few minor professional tournaments after graduation, or perhaps do some coaching. A political science major, Kushma said he plans to attend graduate school, but not before taking a year off after graduation.

Whatever he ends up doing, Kushma said he just wants to “have fun with tennis,” which doesn’t seem like it will be too hard to do if he keeps up his winning ways.

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