WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School varsity tennis player Damien Ruparel recently won the Union County 1st singles championship, establishing himself as the best high school tennis player in Union County, according to head coach George Kapner. In three matches, Ruparel lost a total of six games.

“So far this year he has a personal record of 14-2 playing against some of the best that New Jersey has to offer,” Kapner said of this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.

Ruparel, now a junior, first picked up a racket when he was 5 years old.

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“I remember going to the courts with my family and watching my brother and my mom play tennis and thinking to myself, ‘This seems like a lot of fun,’” he said. “So I decided to pick up a racket and give it a try and I fell in love with the sport.”

He also remembers watching and being inspired by tennis great Roger Federer.

“I really love the competitive nature of the sport and also the fact that you’re the only one out on the court,” he said. “You don’t really have to rely on anyone else but yourself to get the job done.”

Despite his individual success, Ruparel believes that what is most important is that he is a part of a team with team goals that cannot be reached without the efforts of many people, his coach said.

“I definitely love playing high school tennis because of the team aspect of it and I’ve made some great friends over the past couple of years. And I’ve also developed a great relationship with coach Kapner,” Ruparel said. “He’s a great coach with tremendous success.”

Off the tennis court, Ruparel said he enjoys playing basketball, skiing, hunting and fishing.

“He is just a wonderful young man with a very bright future both on and off the court,” Kapner said.

The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Now located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com