April 11, 2006
Q: What made you first pick up a tennis racket?
A: What made me first pick up a tennis racket? Well, I'm not really sure. My grandfather had a big influence on me. Since birth it was just something to do. If we were sitting around, he would ask if I wanted to play, and I did. So I started playing with him all the time.
Q: What is your most memorable tennis moment?
A: It's really hard to pick just one because I've had so many. Whether it was winning an important match, celebrating a team victory, or just stupid things my teammates and I did. There are so many good memories I have through tennis that it's hard to pick just one.
Q: Do you have any moments that stick out in your head from this year?
A: Well I guess the moments that matter the most are when our team wins. It's really important to me to do my best so that I can help the team in any way possible. My most memorable moments from this year are when I help my team win.
Q: What are your goals for the rest of the season and the rest of your career?
A: Obviously our goal every year is to win the A-10s and get into the tournament. That will be our goal for the next two years as well. We are trying to win as many games as possible to get the highest ranking we can. The season is almost over, but hopefully we are able to do well, win the championship, and get into the tournament.
Q: Do you have any personal goals?
A: Not really because I don't really play for myself. I play for my teammates and I'm more about the team winning than doing well myself. So, I guess my personal goal is to win as much as possible so that I can help out my team.
Q: You are very team-oriented.
A: That's me. Go team!
Q: Who on the team (coaches or players) has had the biggest impact on you and why?
A: I think it would have to be our assistant coach (Celeste Frey) because she is so competitive. She really has one of those personalities where she pushes you so hard and makes you want to be the best. When you play her, you want to beat her so bad, so it forces you to work really hard. Our assistant coach has definitely influenced me because of her desire to win.
Q: If you could play a second sport at UMass, what would it be?
A: This is hard because I'm so bad at all other sports. I guess I would just be a full time student because I don't really know how to play any other sport. In Europe, the only other sport is soccer, and I never got into that, so I don't have a lot of knowledge of any other sport.
Q: What made you come to the United States?
A: When I knew I wasn't going to go pro, I decided I wanted to go to college. I looked at a lot of universities, and I decided I would go to school in the U.S.
Q: What made you decide on UMass?
A: I'm not even sure. I visited and I liked the campus and the coaches. The coaching staff was really nice, so I said, let's give this a try! I'm so glad it worked out, because I love it here.
Q: What's your favorite thing about the United States that you can't find at home?
A: There's a lot. Here there are so many choices, and that's something we don't have back home. There is such a variety of things to do here. At home, we don't even have Pop-Tarts! So I miss stuff like that when I go home.
Q: What do you miss about home when you are here?
A: There are a lot of little things. I miss the everyday stuff that I take for granted there, and I miss my family.
Q: Do you think you'll stay here after college?
A: Everyone always asks me this. I think so, at least in the short term, but I can't even say for sure. I'd like to go to law school or get a master's in journalism. I think I will stay here for that, but afterwards I'm really not sure what I will do.
Q: Do you think you'll become a lawyer?
A: Its what I thought I wanted, but I'm not sure now. I think its something you have to be 150% committed to, and I'm not. It's still a possibility, but at the moment, I'm really not sure.
Q: Name some of your favorite movies.
A: I love movies, and I've seen so many, so it's hard to pick a favorite. But I really like "Brave Heart" and "Last of the Mohicans." I enjoy a good epic. Recently I saw "V for Vendetta," and I thought that was really good. Last semester I saw "The Constant Gardener," which freaked me out and was really intense.
Q: What music pumps you up for games? What do you listen to when you're not playing tennis?
A: I love all types of music. Honestly people look at my iTunes and comment on how random the music is. But, for games, we mostly listen to pump up music like techno. Sometimes we'll throw in some weird, old rock song like "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
Q: Do you have any special pre-game rituals?
A: I used to. If I won a match one day, I would have to do everything the same for the next game. But I've chilled out a little bit. Now, I am just quiet and I try to focus, especially if I have a tough match coming up. I tend to zone out and keep to myself.
Q: What has been your biggest life challenge?
A: I would have to say moving away from my family. I mean I have been away from home for a really long time. I went to high school away from my family. The most difficult thing I've faced is making all the tough decisions I've had to make in life without the support of my family.