Had a fabulous time spending the day with Jill Zarin, who was previously on The Real Housewives of New York City (RHONY). She is passionate about tennis and plays on courts from the Hamptons to Boca Raton and everywhere in between. Her sense of style and spirited approach to all she does, gives her an edge and unique perspective on and off the court.
In this style edit and interview, we join her as she gets ready to hit the courts…
Where do you play?
Depends on where I am… In the summer I play in the Hamptons at various clubs, friend’s homes and for more serious tennis at SPORTIME. When I’m in New York City, I picked-up Central Park as a favorite, where we play a round robin with a group of eight people. I also play at Sutton East Tennis Club and Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. In the winter, I go to Boca Raton, Florida and play at Woodfield Country Club and sometimes on the beautiful public courts… the tennis in Florida is heaven.
Doubles or singles?
I play singles and doubles but I like doubles better. My friend keeps getting me down the line in singles, I have to figure out how to break that.
Do you follow a special diet?
I’m the worst eater, don’t copy me. I live on Diet Coke and Pink Berry. My mother is convinced it’s going to catch-up with me.
When did you start to play tennis?
I started as a kid but I never got into tennis. My sister got the tennis lessons, I got the ice skating lessons. Later in life, I worked and was raising my family… there was really no time. As I say in my book Secrets of a Jewish Mother, “You can only do two out of three things well at the same time.” ONE: Work (provide for your family), TWO: Be a Mom (take care of your kids) and THREE: Work out (take care of yourself).
Most of my life has been working and taking care of my daughter, so when she went off to college I could add the workout back in and play more tennis!
Recently, I got competitive and joined a division club team. That was a whole new ball game. The drama on The Real Housewives of New York City was nothing compared to what happens in competitive women’s tennis.
How important is the outfit?
The outfit is every thing… and the hat… and the sneakers… and the bag! I’m always looking for the perfect tennis bag (I love the Marina Blu or The Metropolitan by Cortiglia). I also like a good jacket, like the Peaches Hooded Jacket by Angle New York.
When I moved to Boca this past winter I hit the courts like you’ve never seen. I was living in tennis heaven. I needed to run away from my life for two hours. I lived in my tennis outfit, sometimes I wouldn’t even shower. I would go to the grocery store and run around town and I didn’t care. I saved so much money on clothes because I didn’t need anything except my tennis outfits.
What I love about tennis…
When I hit a great shot, ace it or go down the line and blow them away… it’s like “AH! I did it!”
I’ve met amazing people through tennis and I love how social it is.
My parents live in the same community where I play. My dad who doesn’t play but is a fan, gets his bagel and watches me practice every morning. I love that.
What makes a good coach?
I’ve never had a bad coach, but there have been better coaches than others. Too much information can be tough to absorb. When I get a lesson, I want to walk away with one thing… because that is all I can remember. On the flip, side, how many times have you taken a lesson and the coach didn’t say a word and just hit balls? That’s frustrating. I love coaches who can give me small but game changing pointers that I can practice over and over. I have a great coach in Florida who I can’t wait to get back to, and show off what I have learned over the summer.
What are you working on off the court?
I have been blessed and thankful that my husband Bobby is showing great strides towards recovery from thyroid cancer, and have been working with the International Thyroid Oncology Group to fund raise and bring awareness to the organization that has done so much for us (click here to donate). On the fun side, I have a new line of amazing rugs coming out through Zarin Fabrics as part of a partnership with Unique Loom…. and I just launched a cute line of mugs on VIPswag with favorite sayings from my RHONY girls like “Tell me everything.”
Thank you Jill, for taking the time out of your busy schedule, for your professionalism and for being such a great sport.
Looking forward to playing with you again soon…