Athlete of the Week Archive

Feb. 15, 2008


Rebecca Berger

What got you into tennis?
"My dad was a wrestler, he wrestled in college and everything, but then he had three girls. He thought he needed to learn another sport. So he learned tennis, then taught it to us. When we were three, he'd throw balls and we'd just swing at them. That's how it all started."

Was it fun having your sisters play tennis too? Did it ever get competitive?
"Yeah, we would hit together, but we didn't play against each other. I have an older sister and a younger sister, so it was really nice because I got to play doubles with my older sister for the first two years, and the next two years I got to play with my younger sister. It's really good just to have someone to hit with because where I live, there's no one to hit with. If I didn't have them, I don't know who I would've hit with."

What's trash talk like in tennis?
"There's not really trash talk. If you want to be mean in tennis, you'll just call the ball out when it's not. That's just bad sportsmanship."

What do you say, or do, to freak out your opponent?
"I try to not show any emotion. I only show positivity so they never think I'm down. Then they always think, 'AH! She's still up!' I just try to stay confident."

Do you have any pre-match routines?
"Not really. I can't say that I do."

You've had some really tough opponents this year. How's it been going up against them as a freshman?
"It's been awesome! I mean, even if I know I get beat, I know that I'm playing really good people. I love really good competition because I know that's how I how I'm going to get better, if I play better people. It's been lots of fun."

If you could play any famous tennis star, who would it be?
"Does it matter if it's a guy or a girl? I'd really like to play against Federer, because he's just amazing. It would be cool to see the comparison to myself, even though it wouldn't be that much of a comparison."

What kind of game do you have?
"I would say I have a 'get everything back' game. I will hit some shots hard, but you'll pretty much be out there for a long time. My match against Air Force lasted four hours. I'm known for my long matches. I just like to get the ball back and play tennis for a long time."

Do you prefer playing singles or doubles?
"I would say singles just because I've played so many more singles matches that I feel comfortable. But I'm starting to feel more comfortable in doubles, which is helping."

What is your favorite shot?
"My forehand. I like the inside-out forehand."

What is your favorite thing in practice?
"I guess it would just be the different drills. I like the ground-stroke drills. I'm not sure why. I guess because I just like hitting ground-strokes."

What is your least favorite thing in practice?
"That would be conditioning. We do that at the end and it's pretty tough."

What is your favorite pre-game meal?
"Well, on the last trip, we went to Panera, and I had never been there before, and I think it's amazing. We ate there for three days in a row before the match."

What's on your iPod right now?
"Everything. I have a lot of country, because I'm a big country fan, but I have some hip-hop, some rap, some rock. I have pretty much everything."