MANILA, Philippines — Australia-born Filipina Lizette Cabrera keeps the memory of her late father alive through her tennis career.
After losing her father Ronnie to cancer just last year, Cabrera has learned to transform her grief into inspiration to continue playing the sport that she and her father had learned to love.
"He was always my biggest supporter and tennis was always No. 1 for me and dad… My dad loved it and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," she said.
The Cabrera patriarch was most present in his daughter's mind during her recent stint at the Australian Open, where she faced World No. 2 Simona Halep in the opening round.
"Moments like when i played in Rod Laver Arena, I really thought about him because it was his dream to ultimately see me playing there… For him not to be there was really heartbreaking for me," she said.
While he may not be physically present in her life, the 23-year-old believes she keeps on living his life — at least vicariously — as she remains committed to the sport that they both adored.
"I think it was kind of him living his dream through me playing tennis," said Cabrera.
"That's now the reason why I always work really hard and make sure that I'm doing my family proud because I know if dad was here, he'd be so happy seeing what I've accomplished so far," she continued.
Cabrera currently represents Australia in the WTA tour, but is pure Filipino born to both Filipino parents in Townsville, Australia.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com