Jan. 29, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. -
Get to know freshman Iris Raileanu of the UMass tennis team. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Raileanu is one of five international players on the 2013-14 roster. Overseas Raileanu ranked in the top ten as a junior player and also ranked as high as #920 in International Tennis Federation (ITF) Rankings. The Psychology major finished the 2013 fall season with two doubles wins against Boston University and Binghamton at the Brown Invitational, both alongside teammate Sonia Bokhari (9/23).
When did you begin playing tennis?
I began playing when I was five and a half years old. I have played ever since.
How did you get involved in the sport?
My mom played tennis when she was young and throughout her adulthood. When she had my older brother, she signed him up for a few tennis lessons just for fun. It turned out he really enjoyed it and continued on a more serious level. When I was younger I always used to pick my brother up from practice along with my parents. Apparently, I never wanted to leave until I got to play for a few minutes. So sometimes, my brother stayed and fed me a few balls. Finally when I had the age to join group practices, no one in my family hesitated about signing me up.
Do you have any family members involved in tennis?
My mom and my brother.
What is your favorite memory attached to the sport?
A specific memory that I will always remember is the summer of 2009. The entire summer I traveled around Sweden and played tournament after tournament with a group of kids. It was a special summer due to the fact that I got selected to represent Stockholm in a tournament where all the best players in all districts where playing against each other.
What are your hobbies outside of tennis?
Who is your most admired person and why?
Traveling, family and friends.
Both of my parents: they are just my heroes.
Who is your most admired athlete and why?
Muhammad Ali because he was removed from the thing he loved the most when he refused to join the military. He then got suspended for three and a half years but came back and worked his way to the top.
What is your favorite quote?
"He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."
Why did you choose the University of Massachusetts?
I'm international, so coming to America to play college tennis is pretty popular back home. The assistant coach at UMass Amherst contacted me and we started talking about the team and the school. I got along with him really well over email, and I decided to visit. When I visited I got to see the school and the team and I also watched a match. I got a really good vibe from both the girls and the coaches. UMass also offered Psychology, which I was interested in pursuing for my major.
What is your typical routine on the day of a match?
Music, music, music.
Do you have any superstitions for before or during matches?
Before matches I have to listen to music. During matches I don't really have superstitions.
What are your goals for the season?
My goal for the season is just to improve from last semester.
How are you preparing mentally and physically for the upcoming spring season?
As soon as I got back home, I took a couple days off from everything and just enjoyed being home. Then I started practicing again and getting ready for the upcoming season and I also played in two tournaments.
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'm very happy with our results during the fall. Even though we have had a couple of injured players we still ended with very good results. I would like to continue what we started last semester.