This post is part of a series that tell the stories of how tennis has influenced people’s lives in the Mid-Atlantic Section. Meet Mehrban Iranshad from Bethesda, Md. Mehrban grew up as a competitive junior player and has found new ways to satisfy his passion for tennis as an adult. To share your story or send to someone you know, click here.
Where do you live? Where are you from?
I live in Bethesda, Maryland. I have lived in the great state of Maryland all my life (Laurel, Silver Spring)! Ironically, I am allergic to crabs.
How did you get started playing tennis?
My dad brought me to the tennis courts at Savage Park frequently as a little kid. I tried other sports like basketball, soccer, and baseball, but I enjoyed tennis the most.
What did you like about tennis as a junior? Is it different as an adult?
As a junior, I really enjoyed the competitive aspect of tennis, striving to win tournaments, and improving my rankings. As an adult, I am more focused on improving my game and helping others become better players as well.
What drew you back to tennis as an adult?
After playing college tennis at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and making the NCAA DI team tournament my senior year, I took a break during law school. Then my best friend Victor Ng told me about a Howard County USTA league team he was playing on, captained by one of the best captains of all time, Steve McCoy. I had so much fun playing in the league with such a great group of people, and it rekindled my love for tennis.
How are you currently involved in tennis?
I am heavily involved in tennis. I host a tennis podcast (The Tennis Files Podcast), maintain a tennis blog (tennisfiles.com) to help players improve their game, host online tennis conferences (Tennis Summit), and I am the Vice President of the Montgomery County Tennis Association. I am also an attorney at the Food and Drug Administration, so I don’t get bored too often!
What’s your favorite tennis memory?
My favorite tennis memory is placing third at the 2015 Tri-Level National Championships in Indian Wells. Victor and I won both our doubles matches two years after a soul-crushing loss in a third-set tiebreaker in the same tournament. It was an amazing experience to play on the same courts that the pros do, and then have the privilege to watch them compete after our own matches. We had a fantastic team, and playing a Nationals tournament at the same time and place as one of the best and biggest professional tournaments of the year cannot be beat!
How has your relationship with tennis changed over the years? How has it impacted your life?
Tennis has evolved for me from a competitive outlet and confidence builder as a junior to a game that has helped me build some of the strongest and most important relationships in my life. Many of my closest friends play tennis, and I owe several of my life and career advancements to my involvement in this wonderful sport. I have improved my life drastically by implementing the lessons I have learned on the court to my life off the court. I have met incredible friends, had long conversations with top coaches and grand slam champions, and connected with many kind people all because I was fortunate enough that my mom and dad put a racquet in my hand and continued to invest in my pursuit of the game throughout my life. Tennis has had an extremely positive impact in my life, and I feel very lucky to be involved in the game.