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Jun 19, 2024

Women’s Tennis Welcomes Ria Bhakta to 2024 Roster

CLEMSON, S.C.– Clemson Women’s Tennis and head coach Boomer Saia is excited to announce the addition of Ria Bhakta to the Fall 2024 roster. This marks Saia’s inaugural class. Bhakta, a standout athlete from Delray Beach, Fla. who brings a wealth of talent and competitive experience to the Tigers.

In June, the Tennis Recruiting Network ranked the Clemson Women’s Fall 2024 class as No. 7 in the nation. This class is the highest-ranked class since 2012 (No. 7). With the roster now at nine, the Tigers are ready to succeed on the courts this upcoming year.

California Connections Academy – Delray Beach, Fla.


Bhakta, a top recruit, joins Clemson as a sophomore transfer from Michigan State University, where she had an impressive freshman campaign. At MSU, Bhakta immediately impacted, showcasing her skills and determination on the court. She was crucial in several key matches, securing essential victories for the Spartans. Bhakta’s freshman season highlights include finishing the season as No. 95 in the ITA’s singles ranking, leading the team with 30 total wins, and having an impressive 17-5 record in singles play through the year, including a 10-3 mark in dual match play. In addition, she won the Big Ten Player of the Week in April, the first Spartan to receive the award since 2019.

Bhakta’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the tennis court. She has been recognized for her college academic achievements and community involvement, embodying the Tiger spirit of hard work and dedication. Bhakta was named to the 2024 ITA Academic All-America team and maintained a 4.0 GPA during the fall semester. At Clemson, she intends to study Business with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship.

“Ria comes to us from Michigan State, where she was one of the highest-ranked freshmen in the entire country,” said Saia on the addition of Bhakta. “She is willing to work for everything she earns and will be a tremendous addition to our program!”

During her high school career at California Connections Academy, Bhakta achieved numerous accolades, including winning the Global Innovation Award at the California Regional Robotics competition. She has also excelled in national tournaments, showcasing her ability to compete at the highest level. Additionally, Bhakta was ranked no. 1 in the USTA National Rankings, won the USTA Winter National Championships Singles Gold Ball in 2019, and won six junior ITF singles titles and nine doubles.

In addition to her high school and collegiate success, Bhakta has made a mark on the international stage through the ITF Junior Circuit. She has competed in numerous ITF tournaments, achieving a career-high ITF junior ranking of 171. Her participation in these events has honed her skills and provided her with valuable international experience.

“I immediately connected with Coach Boomer, Ashleigh, and Tom during our conversations. The campus is stunning, the business school is exceptional, and the sports facilities are top-notch,” said Bhakta. “I envisioned myself becoming a part of the Tiger family. The welcoming culture and environment made choosing Clemson an effortless decision for me – it has everything I could ask for in a school.”

In addition to playing tennis, Bhakta enjoys reading, traveling, watching Netflix, and shopping with friends. 

The Clemson family eagerly anticipates Bhakta’s arrival and looks forward to her contributions on and off the court. With her addition, the future of Clemson Women’s Tennis looks brighter than ever.

For more information on Clemson Women’s Tennis, follow @Clemsonwtennis on X, Instagram, and Facebook. For the 2024 roster, visit