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Zabor leaves legacy on and off tennis court

Senior tennis player Emily Zabor will be graduating after only three years from The University of Alabama with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in marketing. UA Athletics

Terrin Waack

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She was born with tennis in her blood and soon after, she had a racket in her hand.

It’s easy for senior Emily Zabor to recall why she first got into tennis – it was inevitable with her family. Her father played in college at Michigan State University, and his father played tennis at The University of Detroit. Tennis was always a big deal on that side of the family, she said.

“From the crib, we had a plastic tennis racket,” Zabor said. “We were just hitting balloons around, my dad and I.”

Although she grew up playing many other sports, such as basketball, volleyball and soccer, in the end, tennis came out on top come high school.

Sports aren’t the only thing that matter in Zabor’s life, though. She will be graduating after only three years from The University of Alabama with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in marketing.

“She’s one of those individuals that is committed to excellence no matter what she is doing: her spiritual life, her academic career, her tennis career,” coach Jenny Mainz said.

Alabama has given her the opportunity to prosper in all three of those aspects.

“It’s kind of like Disney World,” she said. “It’s beautiful, and the people are incredible and just so genuine. It’s really a unique environment that you’re not going to find most places in the country. The whole package is here.”

Before she graduates though, there’s one thing left she would like to do: run through the Ferg fountain. She said maybe she’ll do it graduation day even – cap, gown and all.

But overall, and most important, Zabor loves her team: it’s the one thing she’s going to miss most.

“She’s a great teammate, leader and friend – all of the above,” junior Natalia Maynetto said. “I could go on and on, but she gives her all every day. She’s a hard worker and just the ideal teammate.”

Maynetto said she loves that Zabor is her doubles partner since they are both feisty and determined athletes who see the same things and communicate well.

“I would go as far as saying that in entire time here – 18 years – she is arguably the most improved player that’s ever come through the program,” Mainz said.

Come graduation day, if Mainz were to be the one handing Zabor her diploma, she would only have positive things to say to her.

“I would say I was proud of her,” Mainz said. “I believe that she left Alabama better for being here, for being a part of it and making an impact.

Although Alabama was a good program when Zabor joined, Mainz believes that she will be leaving it as an even better one. Both Mainz and Maynetto have no doubt that Zabor will do something amazing with her future, and they will definitely still bug her with keeping in touch – she will be missed.

“There will never be another Zabor,” Mainz said.

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Zabor leaves legacy on and off tennis court