TALKING WITH... ELIZABETH KOBAK
16 years old (Date of Birth: 6/3/1988)
Sixteen year old Elizabeth Kobak is definitely not your average junior tennis player. The teen from Long Island, New York, managed to make it to number one in the country (Girls' 16s) last year without tennis as the only priority ion her life. She is not only playing on the courts of the US Open this year, but she is once again playing for the court -- on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Her violin performance went over so well last year that she was invited back for an encore.
Despite national titles that date back to when she was just eleven, 2003 was really a breakout year for Elizabeth. Liz, as she is often called, won the K-Swiss Championships and a National Open; took sixth place at the Easter Bowl; won the Girls 16 National Hardcourts; and ended the year with a singles trophy at the Prince Cup. Also at the end 2003 Liz's coach Carol Watson decided she had enough years of traveling and she was replaced by former Director of Women's USA Tennis High Performance Lynn Rolley. Since then her game has not missed a beat and she has been playing in events around the world. This summer she even made it through the Qualifying and the first round at Wimbledon.
The other thing that sets Elizabeth Kobak apart from your average player -- in addition to a plenitude of tournament trophies and sportsmanship awards -- is the importance of family and education in her life. Her father died suddenly in 2002 and she now travels with her mother, Dorothy, herself very active in junior tennis. Together they make sure that tennis, violin and studying fit into Liz's life harmoniously.
Even though Elizabeth only lives ten minutes from me and plays often at the Port Washington Tennis Academy, it took us months to actually get our schedules together for this interview. When we did, it was 3,000 miles from our homes, at the USTA Girls' 18 National Hardcourts.
by Marcia Frost
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