WOMEN'S TENNIS HOME
College is a busy time for every student. Schedules are loaded with classes and exams, as well as jobs and extracurricular activities. Student-athletes are not immune to this dynamic, adding practices and games into the equation. Ekaterina Tour of the Maryland women’s tennis team epitomizes this lifestyle, making the most of each day by excelling on and off the field.
Tour is a double major in Accounting and Finance, and wants to graduate with a whopping 150 credits. She plans to take the Certified Public Accountants exam after earning her degree and devotes a significant amount of time to studying each day, which comes at the expense of other activities.
“It’s very hard,” Tour said. “Of course there’s no social life at all. If you want to be good at school in accounting and finance, you have to work a lot. There is a lot of homework, very hard exams.”
In addition to her exploits in the classroom, Tour has become an integral part of the tennis squad. As a freshman last year, she began the season in the top half of the lineup and eventually ascended to the No.1 spot on the team. She earned four victories as the top player, knocking off several Big Ten opponents.
“I’m glad I had the level of tennis to be number one,” Tour said. “I did everything I could for the team.”
This season, she is tied for third on the team with nine victories, and leads the team with a 7-2 record in Big Ten play. Tour also won two matches against nationally ranked opponents, second-best among the Terps. As one would expect, working on her game also represents a major time commitment.
“There is a lot of time going to tennis every day,” Tour said. “About 4 or 5 hours total, including coming to practice and off-practices.”
In addition to her schoolwork and tennis play, Tour also speaks three languages. She was born in Russia, and her family moved to Israel when she was six years old. She’s fluent in Russian and Hebrew, and picked up English as her third language.
“I started learning [English] in school in third grade,” Tour said. “I’m happy that in Israel there is a high level of teaching English; people know English well and they teach well.”
Before coming to Maryland, Tour ranked as high as No. 564 for singles and No. 646 for doubles in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. In 2013, she had the opportunity to play for her home country of Israel in the Fed Cup. This gave Tour a chance to work on her individual game and develop her craft on a worldwide stage.
“It was a nice experience, because I could focus on myself,” Tour said. “To play as part of a national team is very nice. Everybody knows you, you just focus on yourself to become a better you.”
Tour explained that joining the Maryland program was a lot different from her time on the national team and in the WTA circuit. The team environment was a welcome change, with players pulling for each other instead of being adversaries.
“College tennis is all about the team and to do what is best for the team, not necessarily what is better for you to become a better player,” Tour said. “You start caring about other people. … We have to cooperate together to do the best for the University.”
The Terps are certainly glad she is a part of the team, and Tour should continue to be a top player for the next two seasons. Let’s just hope that between hitting the books and playing tennis she can squeeze in time for a social life in the coming years.
The Many Talents of Ekaterina Tour is a special presentation of umterps.com.
Charlie Wright is a junior journalism student at the University of Maryland and is a contributing writer to umterps.com.
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