Q&A With Our First Sponsored Athlete!
01 Hi Sabrina! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do.
Hey fellow Coed-ers! My name is Sabrina Santamaria and I’m a professional tennis player. I was born and raised in the city of Angels, and played for and graduated from the University of Southern California (Fight On!). I travel the world to play professional events, starting in Australia to Mexico and South America, to Europe and the U.S., and finally ending in China and Asia. It’s a long and strenuous year, but when I’m home in LA, I enjoy hiking in Griffith Park (where I grew up), first Fridays at Abbot Kinney, a Sunday round of golf with my dad and brother, and spending as much time as I can with my friends and family!
02 How did you first get into playing tennis? What was your earliest memory involving tennis?
My father immigrated from Panama and my mother came from the Philippines, and they actually met playing tennis at a public court in L.A. It was inevitable that I played tennis—it runs in the family! At age 4 or 5, my Dad put a racket in my hand and I guess it came pretty naturally. My earliest memory involving tennis was when I was very young, my Dad hung a tennis ball from the living room ceiling of our apartment. I would endlessly whack the ball back and fourth for hours, while trying to mimic Serena Williams’s strokes on the T.V. in the background.
03 For people who don’t really know that lifestyle that a pro tennis player leads, can you explain a little bit about how your year plays out?
The lifestyle of a professional tennis player is not an easy one, and definitely has its positives and negatives. It is a long and tiring year, where you barely get to see your friends and family. The professional circuit starts somewhere in Australia or New Zealand for most of us, which means we have to leave our homes on Christmas day or even earlier. The circuit continues through Mexico and South America, bouncing over to Europe, then back to the U.S., and lastly over on to Asia and China. If you’re lucky enough to end your season in October in Asia, then you would have a nice off-season and some more time at home. But for those that want to push further for ranking points, they’ll go to Russia and all over Europe again until the end of November/December. Conversely, as professional athletes, we get to explore the entire world, most of our expenses are paid for by the tournaments (minus airfare), and we get to play in some of the most prestigious events (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open). While I may get tired or injuries might creep up, I love every second of what I do as a professional tennis player. I’m so fortunate and grateful for each day I have on tour, and I look forward to being the best version of myself each and every day.
04 We have to ask.. what’s your favorite Coed style and why?!
My favorite Coed Style... how can I pick just one?! I love my white Bonita crop top—it pairs perfectly with my gray Highline Leggings, and it’s so functional that I wear it when I go out to dinner with my friends!
05 Give us a little insight into a day in the life when you’re on the road for a big tournament. What your workout and nutrition routine?
When I’m on the road (90% of the year), I try to follow my trainer’s fitness plans and nutrition plans as best I can. My trainer sends me weekly workouts to complete, which ensures I’m in the best shape possible for my tournaments. The week before a big tournament, I like to start with tougher workouts, then taper down towards the end, to make sure my legs and body stay fresh! A typical workout for me would start with some sort of cardio (treadmill or bike sprints), coupled with a lot of core, and then upper body or lower body training depending on the day (I usually alternate upper body and lower body days). My nutrition varies a bit when I’m on the road, especially in countries where I’m not familiar with their foods (ex. In the middle of nowhere in China), so I have to go for more pastas and carbs—things I’m familiar with. When I’m at home, I’m able to stay more disciplined with my diet and I usually stay away from breads and pastas as I feel lighter without them.
06 What’s a typical breakfast for you?
A typical breakfast for me is overnight oats with strawberries and bananas. It’s tougher to make this on the road—so usually I'll have some eggs in the morning when I’m at a hotel.
07 How do you deal with the harsh realities of being in competition and the highs and lows of winning and losing. Do you have any strategies for when things don’t go your way?
Being a professional tennis player is not only grueling physically, but it is very demanding mentally. I think tennis is one of the most mental sports there is. When dealing with the highs and lows, I find it useful to try to be as neutral as you can—not overly excited when you win, and not overly sad when you lose. Losing is inevitable, but getting your mind as close as you can to neutrality certainly helps for me.
08 Give us the run down of the Sabrina Dress. How is it functional for you?
The most exciting thing that I’ve been looking forward to all year is... the Sabrina dress!! Coed has done an AMAZING job at designing this super cute and functional dress—which I will debut for the first time at Wimbledon, one of the most prestigious events of the year. It’s a classic all white dress, with a built in bra AND spandex! It’s the perfect dress that hugs and supports you in all the right places, and makes me feel powerful and strong on court. It’s a beautiful mix of femininity and functionality.
09 Do you ever get nervous on the court?
Sometimes nerves do creep up on me occasionally—especially during a big event on a really big show-court. The way I handle nerves is through breathing techniques, and really taking my time in between points. Usually the nerves subside when I get my adrenaline going!
10 Guilty pleasure.. Go!
Ok guilty pleasure right now is Love Island! I’ve been addicted to watching it every night while I’ve been in Europe. My guilty pleasure at home is watching the Kardashians, with a couple spoonfuls (or the whole pint... don’t tell my coach) of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla ice cream.