Abbygail Gamarnik is only 14 years old. But her dedication and perseverance could be the envy of any professional athlete.
White net stretched across the court. Bright yellow tennis balls stacked in a hopper. Slowly, the racket is going up and giving a spin heats the ball. Serve, another serve … And so on to infinity. Day after day, hour after hour of training after training, summer and winter, spring and fall …
And the results are: today Abbygail is number one racket in Philly according to USTA ranking in her age group girls 14 and under. Also she has a ranking in Middle States and participates in National Championships.
– Tennis cultivates a character, a strong will and discipline. “Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Abby is so dedicated to this sport” – says mother of athlete, Irina Gamarnik. – I don’t know, if this is something to be proud of, but she does not even have a page on Facebook. In the morning – the school, afternoon-homework, evening-private tennis lessons, at 9-10 pm she comes home to finish her homework. There are days when she sleeps only 4 hours, literally she has no free time”.
Abbygail trains with a personal trainer 3-4 times a week in hot weather, rain or snow. And even when she is not feeling at her best, does not miss her practice. And on the weekends – tournaments for USTA and high school tennis team.
This year, she proudly became a #2 single player of the tennis team of Central Bucks South High School and has already earned a reputation as a strong single and doubles player.
Early this month, Abbygail together with her doubles partner Margot Tovia and tennis coaches from CB South High School are leaving to the city of Hershey – there will be held the High School Tennis State Championship. As a doubles team, the duo easily roared into states by virtue of reaching the district semifinals, held over the weekend at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center in Philadelphia It must be emphasized that the team CB South High School for the first time in the school history got into this tournament. According to the coach M.Pecic, the team could reach that far also because of having Abbygail, such a strong player, on their team.
– Gamarnik, a top-ranked player in Philly among her age group, will take over at No. 1 singles next season, – commented Mattew Pecic, head coach of C B South.
Despite a heavy training and tournament schedule, Abbygail – is a distinguished honor, straight “A” student. She takes all advanced classes, has a 4.0 GPA and participates in all school projects and events. Without a doubt, this sport has a great positive effect on her performance in school and in her life! Last year, still being in the middle school, Abby has been recognized as an absolute tennis champion among all Middle schools in the Central Bucks School District. In the championship she once again proved that her pursuit of perfection would not be stopped. Abbygail played flawlessly on her way to a straight set victory, winning 6,-1, 6-2. With the win Abby claimed the district singles title and finished a perfect 11-0 last year.
This success has given her more confidence not only on the courts, but also in the school environment. Abbygail earned respect and sympathy of her teachers and fellow students.
Parents know that their daughter has a big load to carry, and pressure both physical and emotional, that’s why they are always there for her.It’s also an expensive sport – private coaching, group drills, tennis gear, clothing, tournament entry fees and, of course, court time for the year ahead (unfortunately, the area don’t have enough tennis clubs). But the boundless love for tennis overcomes all the difficulties – financial, time deficiency, and colossal physical stress.
Abbygail’s dad, Alex, passed his love and passion for tennis onto his daughter since she was little. He was playing tennis himself in his early years in Kiev. When she was barely five years old, Alex gave her a tennis racket. Abbygail will not part with it to this day. When she was 11 years old, she first participated in the tournament. These days she is always accompanied to all tennis related events and training by her parents and her little sister Julia.
– I play tennis so seriously, because I like to win – admits Abby. – When you work hard, and then go out on the courts, you experience a unique feeling of excitement before the fight and then the joy of victory. Of course, Abby have her idols in this sport – first and for most, it’s her favorite coach Tatiana Panova, who in the recent past was ranked as top 20 tennis players in the world. Tanya generously shares with Abby her invaluable wealth of knowledge and skills, which is so necessary to a young athlete, who is trying to begin her professional journey. Tanya teaches Abby not only techniques and tactics but also the ability to manage her emotions on the court. Generally, in tennis, union: the young athlete, coach and parents is very important. Fortunately, Abby and her parents were very lucky with Tatiana in this regard.
Looking at this pretty, shy girl, you would never think of her as a worrier and fighter. With her looks and body she could be a model, but, instead she chose a different path in life.
Good luck to you, Abbygail, on the court and off!
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