Notre Dame junior tennis standout Kristy Frilling

On The Clock With Kristy Frilling

April 22, 2011

Notre Dame junior tennis standout Kristy Frilling is in the midst of an outstanding season for the Irish in the spring of 2011. The Sidney, Ohio, native owns a 16-2 record at No. 1 singles during the dual schedule and is ranked fourth in the nation. For the year she has a 24-2 mark playing singles. At No. 1 doubles, Frilling has teamed up with fellow junior Shannon Mathews to go 17-3 in the dual schedule, winning their last 14 consecutive matches. For the year, the Frilling-Mathews twosome is 20-5 overall and ranked 15th in the nation. In three seasons at Notre Dame, the psychology major has an 81-26 singles record with the Irish and was the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in 2009 and the conference Player of the Year in 2010. As a team, Notre Dame is 12-9 on the season and ranked 22nd in the nation. Frilling and the Irish close out the regular season on Saturday, April 23 when they play host to DePaul at 1:00 p.m. After that, Notre Dame will host the BIG EAST Tournament from April 28 to May 1 at the Courtney Tennis Center and at Leeper Park in South Bend. Earlier,’s Vicky Jacobsen had a chance to sit down with Kristy Frilling to learn more about her and Notre Dame women’s tennis.

How old were you when you started playing tennis? I started playing tennis when I was 5 years old.

Do you prefer playing in singles matches or doubles matches? I’ve always loved playing doubles. (Maybe because when I was younger I was better in doubles.) It’s so fast paced and it is a completely different game from singles. But I like singles too!

What is the coolest place you have ever traveled to for tennis? I’ve been to a lot of places in Europe, but I’d have to say my favorite was Australia. I’m so obsessed with their accents that I’ve practiced and perfected it. It works great for prank phone calls.

What is the most exciting match you have ever played in? I’d say the most exciting match is a tie between my freshman and sophomore year at the NCAA quarterfinals. Both matches were really intense and basically down to the last match. Those matches were what we played for all year and it was so nerve wracking and exciting to be a part of that.

How does competing in ITF and professional circuit events differ from playing for a college team? The individual aspect is a huge difference. On the tour you have a few core friends and people you maybe travel and hit with, but basically it is a dog eat dog world. Playing for Notre Dame is amazing because I am surrounded by my best friends who will be there for me through thick and thin.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of? I am proudest of getting to go to Notre Dame.

What is the oddest advice you’ve ever been given? “Bend your knees!” from my mother. It’s not really odd, but I swear she said that on repeat when I was growing up playing tennis.

Other than tennis, what is your favorite sport to play or watch? I’m actually really unathletic and uncoordinated in any other sport, so that kind of rules out playing. But I like watching hockey the most out of any sport probably.

Do you have a favorite professional tennis player? My favorite player used to be Marat Safin but only because I thought he was very attractive.

If you hadn’t played tennis, what other activities would you have liked to try? I would have liked to try any kind of dancing. I have no rhythm whatsoever so any time I see people dancing I wish I could do that.

What TV show is a must-watch? I hardly ever have time to watch TV, but if I ever do have time and there’s an America’s Next Top Model marathon on WE, I’m probably watching it.

What is your favorite band or musical artist? My favorite group is this random band named Something Corporate. I know all their songs. And I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve recently caught Bieber Fever.

What is your favorite way to pass a quiet Saturday? I try to sleep in and stay in bed as long as I possibly can.

What is your favorite pre-match snack? Lately my favorite snack has been Zone Fudge Graham bars. So good.

If you could own any car, what would it be? I’ve always wanted to drive a jeep or a green or yellow Volkswagen.

What advice would you give to a freshman at Notre Dame? I would tell freshmen to just relax and have fun. Don’t worry about all the stressful stuff and definitely try to get involved and meet as many people as you can!

What has been your favorite class at Notre Dame so far? My favorite class was a college seminar I took last semester called Sex and Morality. It was a small class so discussions were always interesting. It never felt like we were in a class. And Professor Bederman was awesome.

What is your best memory from your time at Notre Dame so far? That’s way too hard of a question. Too many great memories!

What is your favorite Notre Dame tradition? My favorite tradition is more of a random one…but on our team’s warm up CD the first song we play is “Here Come the Irish.” I love hearing it because it just reminds me of how special it is to be a part of the Notre Dame family alongside my teammates.

What would you like to do after you graduate from Notre Dame? After I graduate I’m hoping to play on the pro tour for a little and see how that goes. If that doesn’t work out I hope to move out west and go to grad school.