Lieb, a junior, is undefeated (13-0) at first singles (as of May 7) for The Haverford School tennis team, which has won 62 of its last 63 matches. He recently scored an impressive three-set victory against Max Kane of Episcopal Academy. Last spring, as a sophomore, he was co-MVP of the undefeated Fords squad along with his brother Ben, posted a 12-3 record at first singles and was a first team All-Main Line selection.
Main Line Media News: What, to you, has been the highlight of your Haverford School tennis career to date? Can you share with us your most vivid memory of that experience?
Zach Lieb: Just last week, I clinched the match against EA for the Inter-Ac title. We began the match at Baldwin, but play was suspended. The match went into a third set which we couldn't play because we lost daylight. So, what made it so special was the match was resumed at Haverford. Usually we play at Baldwin, so for all my peers to support me was an awesome experience.
Main Line Media News: A couple of years ago you mentioned that you have an unspoken connection with your twin brother Ben, which you said makes you one of the top doubles teams around. Can you give an example of how this unspoken connection has helped you on the court?
Zach Lieb: Ben and I have been playing doubles with each other for many years. We both know each other's games really well and anticipate each other's moves. We absolutely have an unspoken understanding on the court which has definitely contributed towards our success.
Main Line Media News: What do you think has been your best match of the season to date? What was particularly working well for you that day?
Zach Lieb: I have had two extremely tough matches this season. One was against Lawrenceville's top player, Mike Zao. I was down match point in a 10 point tiebreak (in lieu of third set) but won the match 12-10. My other tough match was against EA's No. 1, Max Kane, who is a long-time friend and excellent competitor, which makes playing him that much tougher. What worked well for me this particular day was finishing the match on Haverford's home courts.
Main Line Media News: Who have been your most influential tennis mentors? Your father? Your older brother Jordan? What has been the most important thing you have learned from each of your top mentors?
Zach Lieb: I would say my most influential tennis mentor is my dad, George Lieb, who introduced the game of tennis to me at the age of 4. Tennis has been a huge part of my life and has shaped me to be the person I am today.
Main Line Media News: What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
Zach Lieb: I would say the strongest part of my game is my mental toughness and determination to win. I can easily figure out a person's weakness, which helps me control the momentum of the match.
Main Line Media News: Who are your favorite tennis players? Do you try to pattern your game after any of them?
Zach Lieb: My favorite tennis player is Stan Wawrinka. Like Stan, I try to dominate points with my inside out forehand. Having a weapon is always a benefit.
Main Line Media News: What aspect of your game are you working on the most currently?
Zach Lieb: My physical fitness. If I got stronger and faster, I would be able to react to balls quicker. Physical fitness will always improve my mental game.
Main Line Media News: You've played all over the country in many great tennis venues. What is your favorite tennis venue and why?
Zach Lieb: My favorite tennis venue is Indian Wells. During the Easter Bowl, one of the locations I played at was Indian Wells. Every year, Indian wells hosts a professional tournaments. So the fact that I was playing on a court that [Roger] Federer has played on was extremely special.
Main Line Media News: Tell us a little about your pre-match preparation the day of a match.
Zach Lieb: I like to listen to music and really visualize myself out on the court. Also, Ben and I always warm up together with the same routine.
Main Line Media News: What colleges are among your current favorites? What do you think you'd like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly appeals to you right now?
Zach Lieb: My top four colleges right now are (not in order): Penn, BU, Bucknell, and Richmond. I am going major in business management.
Zach Lieb's favorites
Book: The Great Gatsby.
Author: Rick Riordan.
TV show: Entourage.
Pre-match pump-up song: "I listen to rap/EDM before a match but my favorite genre is country.'
Athlete: LeSean McCoy.
Historical figures (past and/or present): "Ben Franklin because he changed the course of America. He was born during the Puritan time, where life was already predestined. Meaning, at an old enough age, he would follow in his father's footsteps as a candle maker. Franklin had other ideas as a became one of the ' Founding Fathers' of America.'
Team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Place to visit: Spain.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)