Orange native Brian Astrachan is one of the top math students in his class as a junior at Hopkins School in New Haven, but he’s also found the formula for success on the tennis court.
In addition to helping lead Hopkins to a win at the New England Prep School Athletic Championships last spring, Astrachan has also been finding plenty of success on his own, with a current ranking of No. 6 in the Boys 16-and-under division in New England.
“My parents were both recreational players,” said Astrachan, who was first introduced to the sport at the age of 4. “I played with my family regularly after that, but didn’t really get serious in my training until I was about 10.”
Combining tournaments and practice with a rigorous course load at Hopkins has been an exercise in time management for Astrachan. He’s usually up before the sun rises and is often working on homework assignments into the early morning hours.
“I got lucky with my class schedule and finish before 1:00 every day, so I get excused to leave and go train in Norwalk at Intensity Tennis Academy,” said Astrachan. “I’ll train for two to three hours a day, make the hour commute back home, and then go straight to work on my homework for the night.”
The hard work has been paying dividends for Astrachan. Even though he has enjoyed a great deal of success on the singles court, his best results have come in doubles. Astrachan racked up for doubles titles last year including in the New England sectional championships at Yale last summer, considered to be the biggest junior event in the region.
The continued success is largely why Astrachan chooses to continue to train in Norwalk under his coach, Ryan Ginley, instead of practicing at a club closer to home.
“What’s really nice is the structure of the club in that they also have a fitness center in addition to the courts,” said Astrachan. “They’ve been really great at assembling a team to help me work on all areas of my game.”
Astrachan said he is currently working with Ginley on several areas of his game including his serve and moving forward into the net more. He hopes that these improved shots will lead Hopkins to a successful defense of their NEPSAC title this spring.
“Our team is amazing,” said Astrachan. Nolan Paige is the top ranked player in the country for the 16-and-under division, and Russell Einbinder is another guy who’s at my level. We’re all tournament players, so our coach has been pretty accommodating and allows us to go train at our respective clubs one day a week or more.”
Until the spring season, Astrachan is buckling down on his courses at Hopkins including one in multivariable calculus, leaving him two years ahead of the normal math curriculum for his grade. He hopes to continue on as a student-athlete in college and is looking at such prestigious schools as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
“I’m really enjoying physics right now and that might be an area I want to pursue, but I’d definitely like to get involved in an area where math is something I can use,” said Astrachan.