Not often does it feel like one elite athlete simply dominates other elite athletes. The crowd inside the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center Friday night certainly got that feeling watching the No. 12 Oklahoma State women’s tennis team’s Bunyawi Thamchaiwat.
Thamchaiwat has been on fire as of late. She has won her last eight singles matches and been very successful in doubles. She kept her momentum rolling by helping win the deciding doubles point that gave OSU (10-1 overall, 1-0 Big 12) athe 1-0 lead over No. 42 Texas Tech.
Thamchaiwat has an idea of what has made her so tough to beat this season and the No. 23 ranked singles player in women’s college tennis.
“I just told myself energy and confidence because I don’t like to play outside and I play better inside, but in the beginning, I feel not really confident and after that, I realized how important confidence and energy are,” Thamchaiwat said.
Thamchaiwat went on to defeat TTU’s (5-6, 0-1) top-ranked singles player in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, and on a couple of occasions, after winning particularly hard-fought rallies, leave her opponent hanging her head.
OSU coach Chris Young did not watch Thamchaiwat’s match as intently as he did other matches.
“When she is playing the way she is playing then she doesn’t need much from me, I just have to stay out of the way,” Young said.
However, this has not always been the case with Thamchaiwat. Last season, OSU’s final conference match was against TTU, at this point she was a freshman who ranked much lower in the ITF rankings.
Thamchaiwat has experienced exponential growth since that last bout with the Red Raiders, she climbed 85 spots in the rankings and is now one of the leaders of her team.
“Consistency and fitness,” Young said were some of the big reasons Thamchaiwat has gotten so much better. “She’s really dedicated to fitness, she’s in great shape and she can just stay really mentally engaged in (her) matches.”