Top young Canadian takes a break
Canada's top female junior prospect is on a hiatus from tennis.
Sharon Fichman of Toronto decided last month, after a tournament in Orange, Calif., to take a break from competition.
"She's been competing since she was about seven years old and I think it sort of took its mental toll," said her father, Bobby Fichman. "She became very restless on the court and couldn't execute her game plan because of mental fatigue, nerves and all that. She's working on a few things and, hopefully, at the beginning of July [in Hamilton] she's going to go back and compete full-time while she works out her issues."
Fichman, 16, continues to train regularly. No. 5 in the world under-18 rankings at the start of 2007, she had been playing mostly entry-level professional events to improve her WTA Tour ranking, No. 469.
Winner of the 2006 Australian and French Open junior doubles titles with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, Fichman may opt for a U.S. college tennis scholarship after she finishes high school next year.
"If she can have some good results over the summer against top players, at that point she would definitely be pursuing the professional career," her father said.
"However, if her ranking is not going to get in the top 200 by the end of the year, I don't really see the point in trying to go on a professional career. By the age of 17, if you're not in the top 200, the chances are you can't really make it professionally. At that point, my suggestion - and she's making her own decisions - would probably be to pursue a scholarship."
Fichman, whose feisty temperament helps compensate for her being only a few inches taller than five feet, seems to be thriving during her break.
"As a parent," Bobby Fichman said, "I honestly think she's a lot happier now than she was when she had to put it on the line every week."
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