When Todd Widom decided to leave Miami to join the professional ranks, the men’s tennis team was left with a giant void at the top singles spot. Freshman Josh Cohen has filled that role admirably.
The 5’11” freshman from Weston, Fla., has a lot of similarities to Widom. He enters college as a No. 1 singles player and has huge expectations. He has to adjust to a higher level of tennis and the pressures of being a student athlete.
“I have played tennis since I was a little kid, so it really was not a huge adjustment,” Cohen said. “The only difference is that college tennis is a team sport and when you play when you are younger, it is more of an individual thing.”
On the court, Cohen is very demanding of himself. He prides himself on being intense, hard working, and serious. He doesn’t fool around on the court and wants to win and improve his tennis skills.
“I am a hard worker and a serious player. I work hard on my game, and I am very aggressive and confident on the court,” Cohen said.
While Widom had the opportunity to turn pro, Cohen does not expect the same thing to happen to him. He wants to stay at the University of Miami and graduate with a degree in sports administration.
“I’ve actually talked to Todd, and I think he made a good decision to turn pro,” Cohen said. “I don’t have any plans to do that. I want to be here for four years and get my degree.”
Cohen’s talent may run in his family. His parents have been influential in his success by supporting him and being there for him throughout his career. His 14-year-old sister is one of the best young players in her region. Cohen is close with his family and very complimentary of his sister.
“My sister is a great player,” Cohen said. “She is in the top five in her age group.”
Cohen is only a freshman and already establishing himself as one of the better players in the nation. He has several important milestones he would like to reach this year.
“My goals are to get my team in the Top 25, win the Big East title, and I would like to get myself into the top tier of players around the country,” Cohen said. “Some of those goals may be high but I think they are all realistic.”
The good news for ‘Canes fans is that Cohen is only a freshman. He has said he has no intention of leaving, and if that turns out to be true, UM will have a great player at the top singles spot for the next four years. With the move to the ACC looming next year, having a top player like Cohen will keep the men’s tennis team in championship contention.
Darren Grossman can be contacted at email@example.com.