Jan. 16, 2014
Meet Yuliana Motyl, a senior co-captain of the UMass tennis team. Motyl majors in Sustainability and Marketing and calls home to Toronto, Ontario. She finished the 2013 fall season 4-2 in singles play and won three doubles matches alongside teammate Aarzoo Malik.
When did you begin playing tennis?
When I was seven years old.
How did you get involved in the sport?
My father's friend wanted his son to take lessons so he asked my dad if I would like to take them with him. After than I just kept with it.
Do you have any family members involved in tennis?
None. My dad was a semi-professional soccer player in Ukraine in his early 20's and my mom was in a Ukrainian dance ensemble for several years before she had kids.
What is your favorite memory attached to the sport?
I've had so many that it's hard to pick just one. I think the best feeling comes after an unexpected win or accomplishment. Getting to the finals of Canadian U18 Nationals when I was 15 was probably the best feeling because no one saw it coming.
Who is/was your favorite coach?
Why did you choose the University of Massachusetts?
I liked the atmosphere UMass gave off. I was drawn to staying somewhere that reminded me of home in some ways and UMass had that.
What are some differences between playing in the USA and back home?
I played a lot of ITF's and WTA tournaments growing up which are worldwide so I can't say much. The only difference for me when I played in Ontario or Canada was that everyone knew each other and we were all such close friends it made tournaments a really fun time.
What is your typical routine on the day of a match?
Do you have any superstitions for before or during matches?
If the match is the first thing in the morning I would: Wake up, put music on, get dressed, eat with the team, head to the courts while listening to music, warm up, get the team fired up and then play.
I'm not a very superstitious person even though I had my moments growing up playing. I just know that I need to feel mentally and physically ready to give it my all.
What are your goals for the season?
To win the A10 Championships.
How are you preparing mentally and physically for the upcoming spring season?
Working out all the time, lifting and doing a lot of cardio. I also do hot yoga on occasion to keep my body loose and my mind calm.
Give a reflection on how you think the 2013 fall season went. What were you happy with? Are there things you hope to improve upon for the upcoming spring season?
I think the fall was really good. We have a really young team, which is always a bit of a challenge, but I think the freshman are great and have adapted to the way things are and how hard we work. I felt really fit in the fall and hope to maintain that throughout the spring and also stay injury free!
What are your hobbies outside of tennis?
Hiking, yoga, biking, and just about anything outdoorsy I can do.
Who is your most admired person and why?
This is a hard one. I have a lot of people I look up to in parts of my life that bring me inspiration. Pope Francis is quite inspirational.
Who is your most admired athlete and why?
I really admire Roger Federer and Serena Williams for being so talented yet so mentally tough. They are some of the few that have been able to stay at the top for so long.
What is your favorite quote?
I have so many. One of them is ""Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." - Plato
What are your plans for after college?
I have a dream of moving to New York, and hopefully finding a job that will pay for my rent.
Any other interesting information you would like to add?
An interesting tennis fact about me is that I can't keep my eyes open when I hit the ball.