By John Philip Wyllie
Growing up in Mexico, Nissim Cohen played a lot of soccer during the first 12 years of his life, but once his family relocated to the United States six years ago, his focus shifted to tennis. Despite his late start, Cohen developed into the number one singles player at Bonita Vista High School. He recently capped his four-year varsity career with a 14-1 record and a Mesa League individual singles title while leading the Barons to a second place finish behind league champion, Otay Ranch.
“Nissim set up his game with a strong serve, solid ground strokes and consistency, but his biggest weapon was his forehand,” said Barons first-year coach, David Rubio.
After he graduates later this month, Cohen plans to relocate to Argentina, take a year off from school and focus completely on his game.
“When you practice every day on a clay court you definitely get better,” Rubio said. “The fundamentals are there. He has nice ground strokes and a nice serve, but he has got some things to work on if he wants to take his game to another level. I am hoping that he will find himself down there and reach his potential.”
Cohen was first introduced to the sport when his parents enrolled him in tennis lessons with the youth program at Southwestern College.
“As I got older I started playing more and really fell in love with the sport. I was soon playing five days a week. Up until a year ago I was playing tournaments every weekend throughout San Diego and California. (At that time) I was ranked 13th in San Diego County,” Cohen said.
Reflecting back on his final season with the Barons Cohen said, “We didn’t qualify as a team for the CIF tournament, but we had a good season. We finished in second place behind Otay Ranch, but we only lost to them by two points.”
With the season now behind him, Cohen will soon depart for Argentina where he will enroll in a highly regarded tennis academy. He hopes to improve his game enough to gain a university scholarship to one of our nation’s top ten tennis powerhouses.
Cohen has performed as well in the classroom as he has on the court. He is an International Baccalaureate candidate with a 3.8 G.P.A. and an interest in one day pursuing a degree in business administration. He believes the year away from his studies will not only improve his tennis, but allow him the time to ponder his future.