As a sophomore last spring, Margaret Zimmermann ’18 posted a 12-3 record in singles on her way to being named an All- MIAC athlete. She’s only gotten better as a junior in 2017, currently possessing an unde- feated 9-0 record in both singles and doubles, emerging as one of the conference’s elite talents. Following a successful trip to Hilton Head, S.C., Zimmermann has her sights set beyond individual glory, ready to lead St. Olaf women’s tennis to a conference title.
Q: You currently hold an undefeated record in both singles and doubles. Which do you prefer and why?A: I actually don’t have a preference between singles or doubles because they’re both com- pletely different games, and I enjoy figuring out how to play both. For doubles, I focus on communicating with my partner Erin because usually the more we strategize the better we perform. In singles I focus on hav- ing a positive attitude every point and not
letting my opponent dictate the points. I play my best when I’m in control of the rally.
Q: What would you say is the strongest ele- ment of your individual game, specifically in singles?A: The strongest element in my individual game is my serve and my forehand. My serve usually results in a weaker return by my opponent, and I use my forehand to keep them on the defense throughout the point. I prefer an offensive style of play and being the one to either end the point with a winner or make them hit a forced error.
Q: After playing most of your doubles matches with Lisa Hall ’16 in 2016, you have a new regular doubles partner in Erin McDonald ’18. What’s the transition been like? How do you two complement each other’s style of play?
A: It’s been great having the opportunity to play with Erin. She has a different playing style than Lisa and different strengths, so we’ve been working together to take advantage of our new combined strengths as a team. Both of us have aggressive play- ing styles so we complement each other by being aggressive on weak balls hit by our opponents from our partners’ strong shots. To maximize synergy in practice, we’re aggressive and we high-five like we would in matches, to get into the match mentality.