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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2015, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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The State of Canadian Tennis

So, I've been around this forum for what seems like forever. I've always been one of the biggest fans/defender of Canadian tennis out here, and while I am not as much of a fanatic as I used to be, I still follow things very closely.

Everybody is going crazy over the 'state' of Canadian tennis, how remarkable it is for us right now, etc. But honestly, looking at the rankings, I actually don't agree that it's going that well...And I want your opinion.

Ok yes, we have Genie. Her rise to stardom was impressive. But she and Milos are just talented athletes, who are not coming out of the structure Tennis Canada is raving about. So I'll count them out of this debate. If we look most closely at the rest of the field, it's not looking great.

You have the 'veterans', like Alekz Wozniak. She has been injured and it's great to see her back. She's been there for over 10 years now, so we can't really count her as coming out of the actual crop. Then you have Heidi, who is also quite talented but has been spending most of her life in the 150-250 range.

Then there is Sharon Fichman and Gab Dabrowski. Both are talented, both had incredible junior careers. Both can play some inspired doubles, and both are just a touch too old to be part of the Tennis Canada National Training Center system. Gab had a brief moment there which was totally unsuccessful.

So let's actually look at the generation which could have been coming from the National Training Center, i.e. girls between 1992 and 2000-ish. 10 of them are ranked right now, with 5 of them in top 700.
  • Abanda (313);
  • Zhao (373);
  • Andreescu (640);
  • Robillard-Millette (667);
  • Liang (689);
Abanda is the prime example of a player who has used the NTC. She has had the best coaches there is, was a top junior player pretty much since U12. She has always been physically incredibly strong, which helped her in juniors, especially early on in her career. But despite some impressive showings at a few major pro events, she has been struggling to win regularly. At that stage, she should firmly be in the top 200, but most likely will be out of the top 400 next week. Nevertheless, TennisCanada is paying her full time coach, who is actually one of the most high-level available coaches around.

Zhao is talented and also was in the NTC. She decided to go through the NCAA route which was smart and is now trying on the pro tour. Can't really say much about her pro career because she is just starting it, but she has had some good results this summer. Should be able to compete in GS qualies, but would be a surprising top 100 player.

Andreescu and Robillard-Millette are great prospects. Andreescu hasn't been following the Tennis Canada route and it seems to be paying off, while Robillard-Millette is a pure product of the NTC. Both are young and could do a lot, but it's early to tell despite some promising pro runs already.

Liang has turned pro 2 years ago and despite some wins at 10k level, is not doing that great.

So if we look back at the past 6-7 years of the NTC, their success is actually very similar to the generation right before. You have 1-2 players coming out of each 'generation' (i.e. period of 3 years), and those players are very likely NOT to come from the NTC.

If you look at the list of players which were in the NTC program, i.e. Jodoin, E. Abanda, Routliffe, Zhao, Liang, Gingras, Blajkhevitz, you see that they simply created a machine for NCAA players. And that machine already existed before.

There used to be 1 or 2 players in the MD of slams, and 4-5 in qualies. Now there is 1 in Main Draw (ranked higher than before) but only 1-2 in qualies. This means all the money is going on one player.

What do you think? (and sorry for the rant )

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2015, 03:11 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

Wasn't it just a year ago that the USTA was looking with envy at Canadian results in the WTA and ATP? Canada? a country with a population 10 times smaller and probably around 5% the number of American youngsters playing tennis. The northern neighbor having more success at tennis than Americans in 2014? Incredible!

I still wonder how that year could ever happen despite the fact that for generations the children in Canada have prefered hockey, soccer, baseball or basketball. Until recently, tennis was not an option to make a great career and lots of money. That might be changing from now on with Milos, Genie and Vasek.

But we have crappy weather for Tennis. It makes it costly to practice it all year long, so families with low income are looking elsewhere. Hockey is also costly but it's in our cultural roots and our genes, tennis is not. Look at the names and origins of all our tennis players, juniors or pros. They have an ethnic background, like 80% of them. It's fine with me, that's perfectly all right, they just happen to have tennis in their blood and genes more that the families living in Canada for generations.

So, it's no wonder the pool of talent to choose from in Canada is fairly limited compared to all the East-European countries and the USA. I don't see that changing very soon. Unless... yeah that's it, Immigration is the key.

As for Abanda, I wonder if she has the right mindset for a sport of aggression. I don't see her making it if she doesn't play with more grit and tenacity very soon. From what I saw, Charlotte and Bianca seem to have that grit and aggressivity Fankie is lacking.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2015, 04:27 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

The question isn't about the current crop 92-97 and the crop just behind them 98-01. These crops were seeded years ago when these players choose tennis and other kids chose the sports they compete in.

If you want more and better pros, its about attracting a higher proportion of the best athletes to choose tennis as the sport they want to compete in over the other sports.

You cannot make a challenger level talent into Roger or Serena by throwing 100 million into developing them. You need to make sure your future Roger and Serena don't choose hockey or another sport over tennis.

So the right question is about the opportunity created by a natural surge that should come because young kids today see Milos, Vasek and Genie doing well and start playing.

Around 2024 there should be a larger group of better athletes graduating junior tennis in Canada. That is if things happen in a vacuum. For young girls there a lot of exciting women athletes in Canada these days. We've seen how excited the little girls get watching Christine Sinclair or Kia Nurse play for women's national teams in the ball sports. There a good chance a Canadian will be one of the top women golfers in the world in a year or two.


Canadian Tennis could easily not reap the benefits of the publicity generated by this crop of pros. They should be asking themselves how to make sure they make the best use of it.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2015, 09:06 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

The NTC isn't working at all.

All the new kids keep on saying that Milos, Genie and Vasek reached the top thanks to their years in Montreal but they only stayed there for a short while and their game were developed by private coaches. There's almost a 'cult of personality" with Borfiga being the Great Leader or something. The guy seems macho.

The Davis Cup probably generate much more cash in Vancouver than the Fed Cup team in Quebec but they always have a lot of extra guys as sparring partners while no junior girl is ever sent as the fifth player to gain valuable experience.

The only two players TC can claim as their "own" is Peliwo and Abanda and these two are major flops. They wouldn't be able to continue for much longer without the financial help.

The best way is probably to copy what Raonic was able to do. Send the kids to international academies with established coaches. A future Slam champion doesn't spend his/her teenage years training with players that will be happy with a NCAA D2 scholarship.

Maybe there isn't much options but most of the kids had NCAA written all over them. What's the points of spending hundreds of thousands on kids that have no professional future? Paying the bills of multimillionaires isn't necessary.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2015, 10:24 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

I'm not sure if this thread is about the National Training Centre or about the state of Canadian tennis. If it's about Canadian tennis, I think things are bad but not very bad. Bouchard has won three tour level matches in the last six months and I expect Raonic and Pospisil to stay in the top 100 for years to come. Andreescu, Robillard-Millette and Auger-Aliassime are quite promising. There is a lack of promising players ranked 100-500, but that doesn't completely tarnish the picture.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2015, 12:00 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

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Originally Posted by Wiggly View Post
The NTC isn't working at all.

All the new kids keep on saying that Milos, Genie and Vasek reached the top thanks to their years in Montreal but they only stayed there for a short while and their game were developed by private coaches. There's almost a 'cult of personality" with Borfiga being the Great Leader or something. The guy seems macho.

The best way is probably to copy what Raonic was able to do. Send the kids to international academies with established coaches. A future Slam champion doesn't spend his/her teenage years training with players that will be happy with a NCAA D2 scholarship.

Maybe there isn't much options but most of the kids had NCAA written all over them. What's the points of spending hundreds of thousands on kids that have no professional future? Paying the bills of multimillionaires isn't necessary.
I agree with you but think you overstate the NCAA stuff. On any given day at Bolitierri or the other big US academies I bet well over half the kids training there are scholarship track. Big cash cow for them. I think the money it generates is why Nick B. is so keen to tell kids to go college in recent years. The big advantage there is that its dozens of NCAA kids to practice against not always the same 4 or 5.

Also the NTC doesn't even have all of the best juniors. Shapavolov, Andreescu and Wong are as good or better than the weakest kids in Montréal in recent years but have aren't there for now. There is a geographic quota so the NTC isn't a single mandate get the best together mission. They obviously are anxious to sell their success but its clear they have multiple missions of which they only ever mention one.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2015, 04:17 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

The NCAA thing is dumb. Who went to the NCAA that could have turned pro instead? The only one is Zhao and it's debatable she could ever make the top 100 with a full schedule (as we've seen in the recent weeks). Schnur is another one but he had already commited to UNC prior to his breakthrough in Repentigny. Before that, he didn't do anything of note in the juniors. All other canadians in the NCAA were average to mediocre juniors (internationally).

TC can only do so much with the talent they have. I'm sure they could do a few things differently or better, but if you're honestly saying that the historical results at all levels in the last five years are a coincidence, I suspect there's some bad faith involved.

We're talking about a winter country of 35M people with no history in the sport. A country that isn't all that succesful in any "global sports" (meaning things other than hockey, figure skating, moguls and lacrosse). What do you really expect?

2015 has been dire on the pro side, but it has a lot to do with injuries (including brain injuries...).
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2015, 11:22 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

2015 has been dire compared to 2014 but exceptional compared to any other season in the last 25 years.

Wozniak, Dabrowski and Fichman all broke the 5 in the junior rankings with limited resources. The current juniors will hopefully have all the help they need to succeed at the professional level.

Raonic almost went to school in Virginia.

Tennis Canada's propaganda is a bit tiresome but they did have jaw-dropping results with the players they invested in. Raonic, Bouchard and Pospisil all made Canadian history while Peliwo and Abanda hope to join them. They all had personalized help.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2019, 05:48 PM
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All-Canadian final at Nurnberg. You don't see that every day.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2019, 01:28 AM
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I guess the tournament in Quebec City is gone? I'm sad to see it go. In other news, congratulations to Andreescu for winning the US Open. Canadian tennis is doing quite well.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2019, 01:59 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

I'm sure there will be a positive impact in a decade or so from this 1st Slam. There ain't any other profession a girl can earn 6 millions in about 5 months (sidelined time deducted).
More girls will chose tennis and our Federation will be more competent and wealthy to make them flourish, hopefully.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2019, 05:07 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

I think the State of Canadian Tennis is in good hands.

Can I say this to all Canadians here: I absolutely love your multi-cultural Country. When I was a kid (8-12 years old) in our big school holidays in Europe my brother took me to Canada every year for a month. We used to live in Kitchener which isn't very far from Toronto and Bianca's Home Town of Mississauga.

I've started following Canadian Tennis since 2010 and basically I've gone through everything. The rise of Milos Raonic, the rise & fall of Eugenie Bouchard. I've followed up Bianca, Felix & Denis up from the Juniors.

Can I give an advice: You need to milk Bianca's GS Victory for as much as you can something we really failed to do when Angie Kerber won 2 Slams and was No 1 in World.

I'm a huge Naomi Osaka Fan but Canadian Tennis which includes Bianca's Success will always have a special place in my heart.

The Dream for me obviously would be Bianca Andreescu vs Naomi Osaka in a Slam Final

I wish Bianca & her Fans as well as the two boys Felix & Denis all the best for the Future
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2019, 06:35 PM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

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Originally Posted by TennisFed View Post
[. . .]
Can I give an advice: You need to milk Bianca's GS Victory for as much as you can something we really failed to do when Angie Kerber won 2 Slams and was No 1 in World.
Germany has had two great champions before Kerber -- Becker and Steffi Graf (and maybe others I'm not aware of.) 28 (?) GS singles titles between the two. So it's been a "tennis nation" for a quite a while. I imagine it's hard for Angie to compete with the memory of Graf's total dominance of the women's game.

Bianca's 2019 has made her a real superstar in Canada already, from what I can tell. And now, with the 1st GS singles trophy in our history, she has no "star" competition from anyone in Canadian tennis, past or present.

Here's just one recent example of good PR Bibi is getting, though it's not exactly about her:

"Andreescu's win inspires 11-year-old Windsor tennis star"

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/winds...kryk-1.5275801

"Everyone can hit a forehand and backhand in practise. But it's about doing it with millions of people watching you, and at 5-all in the third set, when it really counts."
- Genie Bouchard, 2014.

Last edited by Khep; Sep 9th, 2019 at 06:54 PM.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2019, 02:49 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

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Originally Posted by Djo-Coeur View Post
I'm sure there will be a positive impact in a decade or so from this 1st Slam. There ain't any other profession a girl can earn 6 millions in about 5 months (sidelined time deducted).
More girls will chose tennis and our Federation will be more competent and wealthy to make them flourish, hopefully.
Khep and aethelstan like this.

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***Have a look at Igrecman's Satirical WTA Tennis Photoshops. That is so disrespectful
***Colorizations from old Black & White photos HERE
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2019, 03:16 AM
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Re: The State of Canadian Tennis

So..was Milos not part of Tennis Canada program? I always thought that Milos, Genie, Denis, Felix, Bibi all were part of Tennis Canada program right from their early ages

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My friend is volunteering at Miami Open & she said they both were in bathroom at same time & Bianca was making loud grunts possibly fake-shitting in order to annoy Angie between 2nd & 3rd sets.But coz of the handshake,its Angie that doesn't look very ladylike.Another well-constructed point by Bianca!
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