Kristie Ahn Biofile
By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Plays for Stanford University.
First Tennis Memory: "I was playing a level three tournament in an indoor club in Tenafly (N.J.) and it was round-robin and I remember there were these two sisters that were really good. And I was like, Wow. I want to be like them. And then maybe I think a few months later I beat them both. So it was really funny (age 8)."
Tennis Inspirations: "Just to see how far I can go. Just one match at a time, like just go. Just like staying in the moment. That's my inspiration. If that makes any sense [smiles]."
Last Book Read: "Current book - I am reading The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner."
First Famous Tennis Player You Met Or Encountered: "Tsonga. At the U.S. Open. When I first walked in, I was, Oh my, there's Tsonga. I just walked by and stared."
Current Car: "Honda Accord (white)."
Favorite Movie: "He's Just Not That Into You."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Are we talking professional or college? Pro - definitely I'd say qualifying in the U.S. Open and playing Dinara Safina on Armstrong Stadium (2008). College - I'd probably say we beat Florida at home this past season. And that was like my first match back from an injury (sprained ankle)."
Most Painful Moment: "Oh, there's a lot of those. Losing in my first $25,000 love and love (to) Gabby Paz. That was painful. It was in Texas, in 2008. So I just turned 16. It was a few weeks after I won my first $10,000 and the week before I won my second $10,000. (What happened?) I don't know, it was really weird. I just wasn't feeling it, you know?"
Pre-Match Feeling: "Thinking about...thinking about not thinking about it too much [smiles]."
Which Match Did You Feel At Your Best: "When I played against Safina (lost 63 64). Yeah. It was like the highlight of my life."
Childhood Dream: "Went through doctor, vet, pro soccer player, malpractice lawyer, oncologist. And that's about it. (How did you end up in tennis?) I don't know. I don't really know. Just kinda had to choose between soccer and tennis and I just sorta settled on tennis."
Funny Tennis Memory: "This girl Katie Hoch, she hit a bird and it died. And she started crying. At Nationals."
Funniest Player Encountered: "Evan King. He's just so funny. His humor makes me laugh. A lot."
Toughest Competitor Encountered: "Gail Brodsky's way intense. Way intense. Yeah."
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: "Sliding on Louis Armstrong (stadium) and like just lying there. With tons of people watching on television."
Strangest Match: "Well I had a match where I was 7-6 0-6 7-6, if that counts as weird [smiles]. (College?) Actually it was a pro match, it was in the finals, in Texas."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Dark chocolate and strawberry together."
Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: "Soccer."
Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: "Definitely, I count them as one, Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh, especially because Kerry Walsh went to Stanford. I also like Fernando Torres who plays soccer. He's super fast and a great athlete. And obviously have to go with Michael Phelps. He's the greatest Olympic athlete of all time."
Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: "I don't know, that's a good question. I think it's something where you're able - it's not like the other sports, when you're down, you have no chance, but in tennis, when you're back is up against the wall you have a chance to prove yourself. It really shows the mentality of not having a coach, like many other sports. On the court you have to really mentally tough it out, I guess. Yeah."
People Qualities Most Admired: "Funny. Funny is good. Humor. And just genuine."
Scoop Malinowski is the author of the book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" and co-founder of www.tennis-prose.com