April 11, 2007
Virginiasports.com caught up with senior tennis player Marko Miklo for a question and answer session. He talked about the Cavaliers' upcoming matches against Duke and North Carolina, the highlights of his career, and his plans for the future.
What has gone through your mind this week as you prepare for the final regular season matches of your career?
Marko Miklo: It's a good feeling because I am hoping a lot of people will come out this weekend. Other than that, I am trying to take it like any other match, and try my best as always. Hopefully we can win both matches and win the ACC regular season.
Looking back over the past four years, what memory or memories stand out most in your mind?
MM: That is hard to say because there have been a lot of great moments. We won the ACC my first year. The next year we made the National Indoor final and won the ACC again. Last year, battling back from a tough regular season and make the NCAA quarters again. Even last week, the win at Florida State was special to come through with the win there. There are a lot of great moments. I am very happy I was at UVa and honored to play for this team.
Right from the start of your career to just last week, you have had a lot of chances to clinch big wins as the final player on the courts. What stands out most among those matches?
MM: All of those are great moments I had here. My first ever dual match I was last match on when we won at Minnesota, which was a big win for us. Obviously being last match on in the ACC final that year was emotional. You just try to do your best to help the team win. I have great teammates that supported me when I have been in that situation. Also, last year, playing on one leg against Miami in the ACC Tournament was exciting too. I am just happy that I had the chance to be part of it.
You were the first international player that Brian Boland brought into the program. What were your expectations when you came and did reality meet those expectations?
MM: I really had no idea what to expect when I came here because I had some friends who went to college in the U.S. said it wasn't that great. But they just didn't play for good teams. Everything was basically new, starting from day one, especially going through my first season. It was a great experience. I was surprised how great it was and I am so happy I decided to come to UVa. I had a great four years here and now I am trying to wrap it up the best I can.
What was the experience like when Coach Boland was recruiting you?
MM: Brian put a lot of effort into recruiting me. He called me one night when I was at home and I had no idea who he was or anything about UVa. After looking into it, I accepted an invitation for a visit and I loved it here. Again, Brian put a lot of effort into explaining everything to me and helped me with my decision to come here. He is a great coach, great recruiter, great on the courts. Really anything a player can look for.
What are some of the goals you have for the remainder of your collegiate career?
MM: I am not going to talk about big goals. I am just trying to win every match that is ahead of us. The whole team is just trying to win the next match in front of us. We have Duke on Friday and that's where the focus is. Obviously we still have the ACC and NCAA Tournaments ahead, so there is a lot to look forward to.
With Duke and North Carolina this weekend, how special is it to end your final regular season with matches against two of the team's biggest rivals since you have been here?
MM: I think it is great because the last two years we have played them away, so we weren't able to enjoy the atmosphere we had against those teams my first year. That was really, really good and hopefully we will get a lot of people to come out this weekend. It is a great feeling to wrap up the regular season with two teams we are battling with for the ACC regular season championship. These are rivalry matches and I expect both to be very high quality matches.
What are your plans for the future once you leave UVa?
MM: I am definitely going to take a little break from tennis. I am going home right after NCAAs for a month or so, but I am coming back. I will be working here for some time. So I will be here and hang out with these guys, maybe play some tennis with them every once in a while. Right now I am not thinking about that. I am just trying to finish school and focus on the remainder of the season. I am looking forward to the next month and a half.