Feb. 18, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. -
Meet Bianca Drabek of the UMass tennis team. The senior out of Paris, France is one of five international players on the 2013-14 roster. The Economics major did not play in the fall 2013 season and has yet to compete this spring.
When did you begin playing tennis?
I began playing tennis at 7 years old.
How did you get involved in the sport?
My father was the one who taught me how to play.
Do you have any family members involved in tennis?
My mother, father, and brother.
What is your favorite memory attached to the sport?
One day I was playing a tennis tournament in France and in the afternoon I was in the finals. I was playing against a girl I had often played against and to whom I lost every single time. When I found out that I was playing her in the final, I told myself that I would try as hard as I could to beat her. I ended up winning that match in three sets and I was very happy to have finally beat her.
Who is/was your favorite coach?
What hobbies do you have outside of tennis?
Photography, Seeing friends, Skiing, Swimming, Traveling.
Who is your most admired person and why?
The person I admire the most is Bill Gates because he gives a majority of his money to many non-profit organizations such as Medicines for Malaria Venture.
Who is your most admired athlete and why?
I would say Roger Federer because he is a great player and a modest and elegant man.
What is your favorite quote?
"I've been motivated by overcoming challenge and overcoming the hurdles and obstacles that face me. There still is plenty out there to get motivated by." - Andre Agassi
What are some differences between playing in the USA and back home?
What is your typical routine on the day of a match?
Had I decided to go to a university in Europe, I would not have been able to combine tennis with my studies. When I played tennis during my high school years, I was playing in a club in my town. There I would travel to other clubs around the area for tournaments, instead of playing other schools like the US is doing.
Team meeting, breakfast, court set up, warm up with music, team presentations, matches start with doubles first and then singles, and team cleanup.
Do you have any superstitions for before or during matches?
I like to listen music before a match because it helps me relax. During the match, after a long point, I usually go to the back of the court to refocus. After the team presentations, my teammates and I gather around and we chant our team spirit to motivate us.
What are your goals for the season?
We have many goals that we would like to accomplish but I think the most important one would be to win the NCAA Tournament.
How have you prepared mentally and physically for the spring season?
We are participating in physical conditioning to improve our speed, reaction times, and our agility. We are also playing some challenge matches to get used to be stronger. Mentally, we are making sure that we get enough sleep, eating well, and making sure we see the trainer if we need to.
Give a reflection on how you think the 2013 fall season went. What things are you happy with? What things do you hope to improve upon for the spring season?
I think the 2013 fall season went well. We played two dual meets (one against UConn and the other against Providence College) and three tournaments. I thought that the dual meets were well played because we were loud and fighting as hard as we could. I think we were taken by surprise when we played UConn but through the encouragement of our coaches and teammates we did not give up, we were able to win against them.
What are your plans for after college?
I would like to pursue a Masters in Business or Sport Management. I am also considering working for a year before I start the Masters program.