Alkhafaji delivers in the clutch

Name: Rami Alkhafaji

School: Hollidaysburg Area

Age: 17

Grade: Junior

Sport: Tennis

Athlete of the week achievement: Alkhafaji defeated three-time defending District 6 Class 3A singles champion Nick Vanden of State College, 6-2, 6-2, to help the Golden Tigers win the District 6 Class 3A team championship, 3-2. He also won in straight sets in a semifinal win over Altoona.

Season update: Alkhafaji has a 15-2 record at No. 1 singles while finishing runner-up in both the District 6 Class 3A singles and doubles championships.

Coach Brian Denis’ quote: “Rami has worked tremendously hard on improving his game since last year. He has dedicated a lot of time, effort and travel to raise his level to one of the best players in the state. He has also been very receptive to instruction on the court and has really improved his tactical and mental game. He has an extremely bright future.”

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Solomon

Favorite subject: Biology

Favorite movie: “Ted”

Favorite food: Tabouli

Favorite artist: Chris Brown

Outside interests: Playing soccer, playing piano, traveling

Favorite professional team: Real Madrid

Favorite college team: Penn State

Pro athlete most admired: Roger Federer

Best athlete I ever competed against: Jamie Taylor

Most influential person on my athletic career: My brother (Amir), my parents (Rajih and Ikbal) and Matt Stopp and Jamie Taylor

Proudest athletic achievement: Winning the District 6 team title twice and playing in a national clay court tournament in Florida

How I got my start in tennis: “At the Blair Racquet Club, I played in a clinic with Matt (Stopp) and Jamie (Taylor).”

Future goal: Major in molecular biology, get an MD and become a doctor.

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