In August 2019, Ohio State women’s tennis assistant mentor Adam Cohen traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, to look at a probable recruit follow at the Israeli National Tennis Center.
Whilst Cohen entered the facility with intentions of persuading the recruit to participate in for Ohio Condition, a participant who was not on his recruiting radar caught his eye.
“She was extreme, she was into it,” Cohen reported. “Just the way she went about her business enterprise in observe, it appeared like she was having tennis critically and she would be someone who is almost certainly not heading to be straightforward to participate in in opposition to.”
Although Cohen’s first recruit decided to play for the Miami Hurricanes, that 19-yr-aged player who captivated him with her competitive fire has built her way to Columbus for the 2021-22 period — in which she is competing for the Ohio State women’s tennis workforce as a 21-yr-aged freshman.
Growing up an only baby in the coastal metropolis of Bat Yam, Israel, Shelly Bereznyak immersed herself in the world of tennis all over her childhood to continue to keep chaotic — commencing her tennis career at just 5 years previous.
“I form of targeted on [tennis] my total existence, I experienced college and tennis just about every working day,” Bereznyak claimed. “It was superior for me for the reason that I really don’t have siblings, and if I did not do nearly anything, I would turn into bored.”
As she grew, Bereznyak promptly recognized that tennis may be her contacting, prompting her to take the activity more severely and start competitive play in Israel at 8 decades old.
“When I was 8 or 10, I realized that I would compete and not do it only for enjoyable,” Bereznyak said. “So, I took it incredibly significantly and practiced every single working day.”
Bereznyak’s early determination to the video game authorized her tennis career to ascend even further. At age 14, she started actively playing in international tournaments for her country’s junior countrywide crew.
Though the tennis phenom spent five yrs competing for her household region and elevating her perform on the intercontinental stage, her priorities shifted following graduating higher college.
As portion of an Israeli conscription regulation that needs all citizens above the age of 18 to enlist in the navy for a bare minimum of two yrs, Bereznyak joined the Israeli military in January 2019, performing in the intelligence pressure.
Bereznyak stated her military commitments prevented her from playing persistently in tournaments.
When serving her state and obtaining confined tournament possibilities could have slowed down her tennis career, Bereznyak stated her profession achieved new heights throughout her company — successful the Israeli Singles Nationwide Championship in December 2019 and earning a fantastic individual record in the 2020 Fed Cup.
Bereznyak mentioned the 2019 championship victory is the proudest moment of her currently adorned tennis vocation, which characteristics a 790th singles rating and a 650th doubles position in the Women’s Tennis Association — the greatest qualified league in women’s tennis.
“It was a really crucial thing for me and I really cried just after I gained the match. It was very enjoyable,” Bereznyak said. “Before the match started, I didn’t imagine I could gain it, and when the match went ahead and I realized I gained it, it was a shock that I essentially did it. It is a title that you like for the reason that it’s good to be an Israeli champion.”
With her navy support now behind her, Bereznyak is poised to provide her expert practical experience and competitive hearth to the Ohio Condition women’s tennis crew in the course of her first period with the Buckeyes.
The 21-yr-outdated freshman — who enters the week with a 5-2 singles document in three tournaments — has already amazed her teammates with her polished and flexible participate in.
“From my working experience, taking part in Shelly is genuinely tough mainly because she is like a wall,” junior Lucia Marzal explained. “She does not skip and has a actually fantastic backhand, so that’s heading to be a nightmare for other groups when they are heading to have to play her.”
Becoming 6,000 miles away from house, Bereznyak mentioned she felt a combination of lifestyle shock and homesickness when she 1st arrived on campus in August.
Nonetheless, with four worldwide gamers at this time on the Buckeyes roster, Bereznyak has gained some guidance on how to make the cultural adjustment.
“I know how she’s experience. I know that travelling so significantly absent from your state to examine and perform tennis is really hard,” Marzal, a indigenous of Valencia, Spain, explained. “So I have been making an attempt to be there for her and introduce her to some of my close friends, just being there as a mate and a teammate.”
Entering her third thirty day period in the United States, Bereznyak said Marzal and her teammates’ steerage allowed her to obtain a 2nd dwelling in Columbus and produce lifelong friendships with her teammates and coaches.
“I know that the women and coaches will have my again,” Bereznyak stated. “That would make it much easier since I am considerably absent from my relatives, but I even now sense like it is kind of my family listed here.”