April 1, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In the most recent installment of "Net Exchanges," University of Tennessee junior Zsófia Zubor took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down with UTLadyVols.com to discuss the team's trip to Florida two weeks ago, its matches against Arkansas and LSU last weekend and its upcoming final road trip of the season.
The native Hungarian has helped the Lady Vols to an impressive 11-4 record this season, including a 4-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Zubor is tied for third on the squad with a singles record of 19-8, which includes a 10-4 mark in dual-match action. She has been spectacular in doubles play as well, tallying a 20-8 record while playing with a total of five different partners. She has been most impressive when paired with sophomore Rosalía Alda, as the duo is 8-1 on the season and has a perfect 4-0 record in league matches.
The Orange and White will take its final road trip of the season this weekend when it travels to the Yellowhammer State to take on SEC Western Division foes No. 25 Alabama and 29th-ranked Auburn. UT will square off with the Crimson Tide at 4 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa on Friday, April 3, before making a quick jaunt to Auburn to face the Tigers just two days later.
TEN QUESTIONS WITH Zsófia Zubor
How was your trip to Florida? Any memorable/funny moments?
"Spring break in Florida was fun. We travelled in two vans, which was actually a lot more fun than I expected. It gave us an opportunity to get to know our teammates better because you are so close to them for so long. During the break, we practiced hard every day getting ready for our next match. But on one day, we had a chance to go to Universal Studios and had a lot of fun. I had never been on a rollercoaster in my life, but my teammates encouraged me so I went for it and I really enjoyed it. Everyone had a lot of fun on that day and we really deserved a little bit of fun. We have been working really hard this semester."
Although the team suffered a tough loss to Arkansas, it bounced back really strong against LSU on Sunday. What made such a huge difference in just two days?
"The loss to Arkansas was really tough because every match was so close and we wanted to win so badly. I think all of us learned a lot from that loss, both as individuals and as a team too, and we were ready to play on Sunday. Everyone was excited to get back on the courts and show how well we really can play."
How do you think the team matches up against Alabama and Auburn this weekend? What will you have to do in order to be successful?
"Both teams are very good and we matchup pretty evenly, but if we go out ready to play and every one of us fights at every spot in the lineup, the results will come. In order to be successful, we have to practice with full focus and intensity as we have been doing. We also need to take care of ourselves by eating right and getting enough rest."
How do you prepare for a match?
"I do not really have a routine, but usually I get really quiet. I just get in the zone where I can only focus on my ground strokes and footwork while we warm up."
What made you decide to choose Tennessee?
"One of my American friends helped me to find a good university with a really good athletics program. When I heard about UT and its program, I really liked it right away. I was really excited and I knew that I wanted to come to school here."
How did you first get involved in tennis?
"I was born into a tennis family so I have been playing since I was four."
What are your goals for the rest of this season, both individually and as a team?
"Individually, I would like to help my team achieve the best it can. I try to practice with a 100 percent effort everyday and push myself and my teammates so that we can continue to get better and better. I would like to see our team get to the finals of the SEC Tournament and at least reach the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament."
What is the best advice that you have ever received?
"I really listen to any advice that I get from my mom, dad and sister."
What do you consider your greatest tennis accomplishment so far?
"During the fall of my sophomore year, Caitlin Whoriskey and I won the doubles title at the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. I also finished second at the Hungarian National Women's Tennis Championships when I went home during the summer of 2007."
What is your favorite thing about Tennessee so far?
"I really like to see all of the trees bloom during the spring. It is just beautiful."
GETTING TO KNOW Zsófia Zubor
Favorite place to eat in Knoxville: Wasabi
Favorite holiday: When I went to Croatia for a week with my mom and my dad.
Favorite tennis racquet: Wilson K Factor K Tour
Favorite movie: The Fifth Element
Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii
Favorite class at UT: Management
What motivates you?
Who has been the most inspirational person to you in your tennis career and why?
"My sister, Ildiko, because she was one of the first Hungarians to come to the United States to play tennis and get a scholarship. She went to the University of South Florida and got her degree. She has been my role model since I was a little girl. I have always looked up to her and knew that I wanted to do the same thing that she did."
What is one thing about yourself that most people don't know?
"I was a hip-hop dancer for two years."
What is your "must have" accessory?
"My sun pendant necklace."
What would you do with a million dollars?
"The first thing I would do is to buy three plane tickets for my mom, dad and sister, so that they could come from Hungary to visit me. Then, I would do renovate in my grandma's house to create a green and convenient environment for her and do some green renovations in our house, as well. Then, I would buy a house for my sister closer to our home, put some of the money into the bank and invest in a big area of land."
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
"I would have a healing power, so I could heal sick people."