The Tenacious Tennis Twins

The tennis twins, Ian (left) and Ari (right) Strauss are pictured above in front of Franklin High School. Photo by Ari Strauss.

Ian and Ari Strauss are potent forces when they play. The senior twins have been on varsity together since last year.

Although they may not seem intimidating at first (Ian is 5’9” and Ari is 5’7” tall), they are a duo with the potential to intimidate and get into the minds of their opponents. This year is the Strauss twins’ Senior season. This will be Ari Strauss’s fourth year playing tennis for Franklin, and third year on varsity. It’s Ian’s second year playing competitively, and second year on varsity. Unfortunately, this year’s tennis season, along with all spring sports, is currently cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there’s a petition for OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) to continue all spring sports in the summer, which many people are signing. It would give many seniors the opportunity to have their breakout senior spring seasons come to fruition. Both Ian and Ari Strauss were inspired by their mom to first start playing tennis. When I asked them how they felt about their season being postponed, they were both upset but understanding about the current situation. “It’s unfortunate how one virus affects everything including tennis and other sports. I thought we had a pretty strong team and of course I would have liked to play, but I understand that safety comes first,” said Ari. Ian feels similarly about the current situation: “It’s very unfortunate that our senior season was postponed. The team has lots of hard working guys; guys play tennis even when there’s no practice. I’m pretty heartbroken that I might not be able to play tennis my last year of high school. It is what it is though.”

The brothers have played tennis with each other before, including winning a consolation tournament in 2019 while playing doubles together at Century High School. When I asked Ian if he plans on playing doubles with his brother Ari this season, he said, “I think that would be really cool. I’ve always wanted to play doubles together and I think we could intimidate the other teams as well.” Although this is only Ian’s second year of playing tennis for Franklin competitively, he has been playing tennis since he was 10 years old for fun. Although Ian and Ari aren’t playing doubles currently, they might play doubles together during the summer season, if it happens. Both on varsity tennis, Ian currently plays doubles with sophomore Trevor Lewis, while his brother Ari plays doubles with senior Hamilton Troung.

When it comes to tennis idols, Ari looks up to Roger Federer. “He’s a great player and he plays very strategically,” said Ari. Ian on the other hand looks up to both Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. “I like Nadal because he’s from Spain and I speak Spanish. He’s also very good. I like Kyrgios because he has the ability to pull off crazy trick shots sometimes in games, and he’s fun to watch.” Neither of the brothers plan on playing college tennis: they want to put academics first, and pursue a degree over playing sports. Ari will attend Oregon State this fall, while Ian is stuck between choosing Oregon and Oregon State University. They will both keep playing tennis for fun though, for the love of the game. Although they didn’t start their senior season of tennis on time, they still may have an opportunity to play the season this summer.

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