Speed has always been Jayanth Chintham’s greatest asset, but in another fold, speed might also have been a burden.
For a tennis player, a frame of 5-foot-10 isn’t ideal, but Chintham made up for his shorter build by building up unmatched stamina and quickness. However, it also took stamina and quickness to be Jayanth Chintham—a top-notch tennis player who spent the entire bulk of his pre-teen and teenage years constantly moving from tennis tournament to tennis tournament, and from one school assignment to another.
Chintham began playing tennis competitively at the age of 10, and soon after was traveling to regional and national tennis showcases. Now, Chintham is ranked No. 4 in the state, No. 22 in the southeast and No. 96 in the country as an individual, according to tennisrecruiting.net. He’s reeled in a four-star ranking and drew college offers from Amherst College (Mass.), New York University and Indiana. He even had interest from a number of Ivy League schools.
Despite all of the accolades, Chintham plans to let all of it go to simply slow down.
He plans to attend Georgia Tech instead and put tennis to the side to focus on academics with a concentration on industrial engineering. While he plans on leaving the option open to try out for Georgia Tech’s varsity team as a walk-on, it’s just as likely he will stick to the club tennis team and take things easy.
This monumental shift in ambition can be attributed to the experiences Chintham had with his South Forsyth teammates in his senior season—the only season Chintham competed with the high school team. He said he enjoyed the team atmosphere, became best friends with the other players and learned to not take everything so seriously.
Question: What made you want to focus on academics over the opportunity to play Division I tennis?
Chintham: “If you play D-I tennis, you can’t really do anything else. That’s all you do. It would have been hard to convince the coach to be able to do other things than gym, extra workouts and things like that.”
Q: What do you plan on doing at Georgia Tech instead?
Chintham: “I definitely want to be more involved with academic clubs related to my major. Also, I will try to play on the tennis team and see if things work out, but I’ll at least try to play on their club team.”
Q: What was your one year of being part of the South Forsyth team like?
Chintham: “I loved it. It was the most fun I’ve ever had playing tennis, honestly. My team was my closest friends. Off the court we’d hang out all the time, so it was fun playing with them and I felt like I helped the team out this year.”
Q: What was the highlight of your senior year?
Chintham: “Oh man, we were in a match against Lambert. I was playing against Drew Lahey. He was killing me. He had a huge advantage and deserved to win the match, honestly, but I just didn’t go away and pulled it out in the end. It was really close, and they were a really good team. They didn’t have all of their guys or else they probably would have won the match.”