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Dynamic doubles partners dominate at Purdue

September 27, 2012

By Dan Stanton

A continent away, Niklas Jonsson and Ali Shabib lived about an hour away from each other, in Sweden and Denmark respectively. Now, as members of the Cleveland State tennis team, Jonsson and Shabib are making waves as championship doubles players.

Both sophomores, Shabib is in his second year at Cleveland State, and Jonsson just transferred here from Troy Univeristy.

At the Western Michigan Vredevelt Invitational, Sept. 14–16, 2012, Shabib and Jonsson were named the Doubles Champions.

“I have some skills, he has some skills, and we’re good together,” Shabib said about being paired with Jonsson.

There may be more to it than that, though. Ali Shabib and Niklas Jonsson

The current U.S. men’s doubles champions are Bob and Mike Bryan, twins who have been playing together since they were children. Playing doubles requires a player to not only know how he will respond to any given situation, but he also has to know how his partner will respond. Given the amount of time the Bryan brothers have been playing together, it’s no wonder they play so well.

Western Michigan, however, was, according to Jonsson, the first time the two have played together competitively.

Last weekend at the Purdue Invitational, Jonsson and Shabib again won another doubles championship.

“Those guys really stood out,” said head coach Brian Etzkin. He went on to say Shabib and Jonsson have “natural double skills,” and they “naturally go well together.”