Freedman enjoying strong season on tennis courts

Eliza Freedman. (Photo by Stratford Sports Information)

By LIZZI CLAYTON, Gazebo Assistant Editor

When people think of Stratford’s tennis program, they often think of Sachin Khurana, who recently committed to Mercer and has an outstanding record. Or Coach Jaime Kaplan, who has played at Wimbledon several times among her various achievements.

Yet the girls tennis program has another star who should be recognized — sophomore Eliza Freedman.

Freedman is quite happy with how the season has gone and has high hopes for her future games as well.

“[The season] has been pretty good…and our team is doing well,” she said. “We have the area tournament on Tuesday and we’re second in area west.”

As far as what has driven her success, she said there are a lot of factors.

“Well, I usually feel like I should win because I play year round,” she said.

Her teammates are also a big part of what motivates her. “We are pretty bonded,” she said. “Most of us have been on the team together for the past three years, so we know each other pretty well. We definitely make practice more fun for each other.”

Freedman’s record is 12-2, which is the same as the team overall. Stratford hosts Brentwood Thursday at 4 p.m. The Area meet is Tuesday at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center in Macon.

“If we win the first match of the area tournament we definitely go to state and if we win the second match we will host the first round of state. It would be really good for us to make it to state and hopefully do well in it.”

Kaplan praised Freedman for her leadership and work ethic.

“Eliza has been a leader really since the eighth grade when she started playing No. 1 for us,” said Kaplan. “She is a great role model for the other players — girls and boys — by exhibiting a strong work ethic. She also doesn’t mind who she plays or works with during practice. One day, she will play Mark Barrow a set and then the next day she doesn’t mind playing with some of the lower-ranked girls, helping them with their game. She is definitely a coach’s ideal team player.”