ITA Player profile: Jamie LoebFreshman Jamie Loeb of North Carolina has had a terrific start to her college tennis career. The Tar Heel won two major tournaments in the fall of 2013: the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. She went 19-1 last fall and this spring surged to the No. 1 spot in the ITA Division I National Singles Rankings, the first women player from North Carolina to do so.
Loeb, who started playing tennis at age 3, spoke with the ITA about her transition to college tennis and how she assesses her game.
How did you get into playing tennis?
When I was younger my siblings always played, and my mom taught herself. They always took lesson and my sister was pretty good when she was younger. She was always top in the East, top in the nation and she ended up going to Wake Forest on a full tennis scholarship. So I was born into a tennis family.
What your earliest memory of tennis?
One of my biggest tournaments was Little Mo when I was 7 or 8 years old. I always used to lose to Hayley (Carter, her teammate) in the Little Mo. When I’d make it to Texas (the final stage) I would always lose to her. But I always loved that tournament.
What players did you look up to growing up?
I always loved Martina Hingis and I’ve actually gotten a chance to meet with her and play with her. She actually recognizes me and knows me now which is really cool and special. I’ve always loved her game and her composure on the court. I’ve always tried to implement what she does into my game and overall I think she’s a great role model. I loved Kim Clijsters as well. They are both similar with great attitudes and great composure on the court. They both use variety in their game as well.
Who would play your coach Brian Kalbas in a movie?
When is the last time you screamed at the TV?
Giants football game
Who is your favorite: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray?
What about Serena, Vika, Li Na or Sharapova?
What’s the one thing you need to stop eating?
Everything! I eat a lot. Maybe I need to lower the amount of carbs I eat. I love bread. And chicken parmesan.
What’s your favorite song on your iPod right now?
Last Chance by Cascade
When you’re not on the court, where would be find you?
Right now, probably in my room studying.
What’s the transition been like to college?
It’s a change but I’m glad to have a great group of girls to support me and coaches that really care about me and the program so I think that’s a great thing to have. It is different because I’m used to playing a lot of tournaments and individual tournaments. Even though the fall isn’t about the team it’s still about the team in a way. It’s a change, tournament wise and I’m used to playing every weekend instead of having a break in between but I think it’s good.
What’s been clicking in your game so far in your college career?
I think I’ve gotten a lot stronger so far and there’s obviously still room for improvement but it’s definitely helped in my game and I think I’m improving in practice and working really hard so during matches I think I’m more confident now and I believe more in my shots and in myself and that’s another reason why I’m doing pretty well.
Did you play at Flushing Meadows growing up?
I was here for about six months, and I also played in the junior US Open and qualifying of the women’s US Open.
What part of your game, if any, do you think you need to work on?
I think just keep using my legs more on my serve and making my first serve a weapon but also consistent. And just keep mixing it up with my placement and just using more variety in my shots in general.
What are your goals for the spring?
I really think we have a strong team in general and I think if everyone is healthy we can do really well. Right now I’m just focusing on that and making sure that everyone is pushing each other every day. Our main goal is the win the NCAAs as a team, and I obviously want to win it individually.