Tzipi Obziler (ODU'95) Getting Active In Real Politics

November 14, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 14, 2008

By Bob Larson -Business News

Politics is all about ups and downs and such has been the case for Israeli tennis player turned politician Tzipi Obziler (ODU'95) in the last few weeks.

Just a few weeks ago in Shrewsbury, England 35 year-old Obziler suffered the ignominy of losing to an opponent 21 years her junior - the much heralded British 14 year-old and Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson.

But Obziler clearly had other things on her mind. A committed member of the Green Givatayim party, she decided to stand as a candidate in the local elections that took place earlier this week. And she was duly elected to the Givatayim municipal council after her party won two mandates.

One of women's tennis unquestioned veterans - she made her competitive debut on the satellite circuit nearly 20 years ago - 176th ranked Obziler insists she is not contemplating retirement although her position may force her to cut back on a playing schedule that this year alone has seen her contest 25 events including all four Grand Slams and the Olympic Games as well as representing Israel in Fed Cup.

Obziler was not the only sportsperson to figure in the Israeli elections. Arkadi Gaydamak, who owns British Premier League soccer club Portsmouth, failed in his attempt to be elected Mayor of Jerusalem. However Judoka Yoel Rozvozov, a European Championship medalist at judo, was elected to the Netanya city council.

Obziler ranked No. 1 collegiate women's tennis player in the country in the fall of 1995 while at ODU.She captured the National Clay Court Championship that season, before returning to Israel to begin her professional tennis career.

Obziler competed in the Olympic games in Beijing for her native Isreal in both singles and doubles.