Ilana Rosenthal Following in the Footsteps of Coco Gauff

Ilana Rosenthal is just 12 years old, but on the tennis court, look out!

"Guess it just comes naturally," Rosenthal said. "My coaches always said that I've been quick and good."

"She was always just so quick, blindingly quick from the first day I met her," Rosenthal's personal tennis coach Kevin Lynn added. "I thought to myself, 'this will be fun!'"

That's why Lynn agreed to coach Rosenthal, but he quickly learned that the Kingston-native doesn't just have the talent. She has the work ethic.

"You talk to any kid and they all say, 'yeah, I want to fly like Superman,' but they can't do the work that it takes to be able to fly like Superman," Lynn explained. "You want to fly like Superman on the tennis court, you have to skip rope."

"It works on my quickness to get faster," Rosenthal said. "I've seen it's helped a lot with my speed."

She does 2,000 every day and all that hard work is paying off. Rosenthal is ranked 25th in her age group in the Middle States Tennis Rankings. Last month, she won the girls 12 and under singles championship at the prestigious "Little Mo" International Tournament, beating out players from 15 states and nine different countries in New York City.

"I was really happy," Rosenthal said of winning the tournament. "I was excited. It was a big deal."

To put into perspective what Rosenthal just accomplished, think of it this way. 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff won this exact same tournament just a few years ago.

"She brings hope to kids like me," Rosenthal said of Gauff. "It's incredible. She's only 15. It gives me hope to strive for more."

And maybe be the next Coco. The potential is there.

"I want to go pro, make it to the U.S. Open," Rosenthal said.

"This is a rare kid," Lynn added. "As to will she make it? Will she be lucky? Will she stay injury-free? Who knows, but she could certainly be a great player."

Rosenthal is back in action this weekend. She's playing in a 14 and under tournament in New Jersey.

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