By Mark Ambrogi
Center Grove High School senior tennis player Max Williams has transitioned from being a three-year doubles player to the ninth-ranked Trojans’ No. 3 singles player.
“The skill set for playing singles is widely different than the doubles, however, Max has relied on his year-round training and vast singles experience to excel in this singles position,” Trojans coach David Beasley said. “Max’s playing style is that of a non-typical No. 3 singles player. Max is extremely aggressive on the court with a big serve and dominating forehand. His type of play is extremely helpful against opponents who put the ball in play and let him dictate the point play.”
Williams is the only senior among the seven starting players.
“Max has stepped into the role of a leader and the team looks to him to bring energy and focus every match,” Beasley said.
Williams said he does feel a lot more responsibility to be a leader this season, but he knew that would be expected going into the season.
“My main job as a leader is to set a good example for the underclassmen and lead my team with energy and confidence,” he said.
Williams said his goal is for the team to “go to state again and maybe even win it this year.”
Center Grove reached the quarterfinals of the HSAA state finals last year before losing to eventual state champion North Central 4-1.
“Reaching the state semifinals last year helped us a lot actually, as it helped prepare a lot of us as to what playing in a huge, important match like that feels like,” Williams said. “Even for varsity veterans, it still helps us get used to situations like that as well as just adding on confidence to our team as a whole.”
Williams played No. 1 doubles with Evan Davis during the tournament run. The doubles duo finished with an 11-3 record.
The state finals are set for Oct. 13-14 at North Central High School in Indianapolis.
“I would say my serve has improved a lot this season as it has been getting much better and stronger,” Williams said.
Williams said he played a lot of sports growing up, but started taking tennis seriously when I was around 10 years old.
“What makes me passionate about tennis is because I am already a very competitive person but also, I love the sport so playing it is very important to me,” he said.
THE WILLIAMS FILE
NAME: Max Williams
COLLEGE PLANS: Tentatively planning to attend Indiana University to study biology
HOBBIES: Golf, basketball, pickleball, hanging out with friends and reading
FAVORITE SUBJECT: History
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Ben Shelton
FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Game of Thrones”
FAVORITE MOVIE: “Interstellar”
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Costa Rica
PARENTS’ NAMES: Staci and Gary Williams