View Full Version : Maureen Drake beaten by her father

Feb 20th, 2004, 11:01 PM
Here's an old article from 1999 during the Du Maurier tournament...I had no idea about any of this... :sad:


Drake slays her demons

Overcomes troubled childhood to fulfill her potential and become Canada's top player

By STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun
* Maureen Drake can't forget about the car rides home after tournaments and the pain and abuse she just accepted as a matter of growing up.
*"He'd hit me,'' said Drake, who at age 28 is suddenly and almost miraculously the No. 1 tennis player in Canada. "I'd be in the car after a tournament and he'd slap me.
*"It was all about winning and making money. Nothing about doing it for the sheer joy. It's something that's not new, it's something that is around. Parents need to be brought to attention that it is not right, it's not good.
*"I grew up thinking everything was okay. That's what you did.''
*Maureen Drake began to reveal the secrets of her uncomfortable past while sitting in the comfortable armchairs in an interview room at the National Tennis Centre, after doing something she had never done before: Winning an opening-round match at the du Maurier Canadian Open.
*She is another tennis player with another story of parental love, parental push, parental abuse.
*A few years ago, another Canadian, Sonya Jeyseelan, told a similar tale of a childhood stolen. Before that, Mary Pierce's father had to be banished from tournaments and Mirjana Lucic had to escape Croatia to get away from her coach, her father.
*"I tried to confront my dad about the way he treated me,'' Drake said of her father, August, her longtime tennis coach. "He was physically and verbally abusive. I had to confront my mother about it. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
*"To confront my dad was very tough for me. My father and I tried to make amends. I'd say, 'This is how I hated to be treated' ... He couldn't accept what I was saying.
*"I used to think I had a happy childhood ... He had good intentions ... It has been tough, very tough for me.''
*The previous time Maureen Drake played singles at the Canadian Open, she came off the court in tears.
*It was six years ago to the day of yesterday's victory over Anne Kremer. She had lost in straight sets to somebody named Ginger Helgeson and seemed lost. Her coach had moved on. Her support group was non-existent. Her career was going nowhere. She couldn't contain her emotions, couldn't stop crying.
*"I never used to be able to dream,'' Drake said, talking about her past and her future. She couldn't find within her what she now calls "a child-like essence."
*"There wasn't a lot of communication in my household, not a lot of attention paid to me,'' she said. "There was not a lot of love. It was strict, rigid, and that's how I played.''
*She always could hit a tennis ball. It was life she wasn't so good at. Drake was an emotional outburst waiting to happen, a kid who would abuse herself mentally, more than her opponents would ever beat her physically on the court. She was one of those talents who always would be around, never had enough to make it.
*No w, everything in her life has changed. She grew up on the courts at Cedarvale Park and now lives in Florida. Her father doesn't coach her. They have no relationship. She came into this tournament as the 52nd-ranked player in the world at an age when most players are considering retirement: At 20, she was ranked 171st; At 25, she was 175th. Before this year, her career earnings in 12 professional seasons was $249,624.
*This is her season as an overnight success, her time to be a headline. Before yesterday, she had played in eight Canadian Opens and never won so much as a set. Before this weekend, no one would have noticed whether she had to qualify for the Open or was given one of those "I'm a Canadian" wild-card spots.
*Suddenly, for the first time in her life, Maureen Drake is a tennis story, a Canadian story we should know about, an athlete who should not have been forced to qualify for this tournament, who should have been welcomed home with arms open wide.
*But the politics of her sport interfered. Forget the nationality part, her ranking alone should have placed in her in the main draw instead of in the qualifying round. Imagine the uproar had the Canadian Open golf tournament had its tournament next month and insisted Mike Weir first qualify.
*"That would have been huge,'' Drake said. "I just think (what happened here) is very unfair ... Tennis Canada needs to look at and change that policy.''
*The way Drake has changed her game and her life. She lives in Miami, is trained by holistic Jamaicans, does more work on her mental outlook than she does on her serve.
*"So every day is a like a gift,'' Maureen Drake said. "You know, I am just happy to be alive and healthy and just doing my thing that I love to do.
*"For all the years that I've been on the tour and I haven't reached my potential, that is what I'm working toward. Fulfilling my potential ... I mean, it was just amazing to come back (home) as the No. 1 player (in Canada). This is the real Maureen Drake, the real Mo Majick.''

Feb 20th, 2004, 11:09 PM
That's sad :sad: ANd very common as well :o

Feb 20th, 2004, 11:10 PM
SO sad good luck moureen

Feb 21st, 2004, 01:27 PM
"Mo Majick!" We'll have to use that one. :D

Feb 21st, 2004, 01:30 PM
Thats really sad...:sad:

But I think thats why she gets very angry at herself on court. I mean if her father taught her that losing was wrong....

:shrug: :sad:

Feb 21st, 2004, 01:41 PM
so she is the oldest player on tour

Feb 24th, 2004, 09:36 AM
Maureen :sad: i will support you :)

Feb 24th, 2004, 09:42 AM
Maureen :sad: :hug:

Feb 24th, 2004, 09:50 AM
damn tennis parents! poor maureen. what's her ranking now?

Feb 24th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Thats sad :sad: I didnt know about that either. Thats why shes like that on court.

Feb 24th, 2004, 01:52 PM
Poor Maureen. Didnīt know that about you. I feel sorry. Enjoy every day.