New Canadians lead the tennis push of the country


The drive of Canada is currently getting loads of help from places like even, Poland, Romania and Russia Togo.

By Milos Raonic to Eugenie Bouchard and Daniel Nestor, Canada has produced some players lately. with teens including Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu coming up the ranks, Canadian tennis’ future looks bright.

Just about all those players, and many more, share something in common beyond ability: They were born outside Canada or have a parent who immigrated. It is a phenomenon that speaks to the international reach of tennis and Canada makeup. And it is not showing any signs of changing.

Consider the Wimbledon tournament of this year. To a different country, all but one — Bouchard — have a direct connection of the 13 Canadians competing. Those countries are as diverse as America, Montenegro Serbia, Russia, Kenya, Cameroon, Poland, Czech Republic and Spain. And that learned the game and does not include.

“Tennis is, for sure, quite international and lots of the European, Asian and South American nations have a excellent tradition of tennis,” said Hatem McDadi, senior vice-president of tennis growth at Tennis Canada. “There is an affinity, a love for tennis, from many new Canadians.”

Studies show that when it comes to sports Canadians tend to gravitate to actions. A 2014 study from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship discovered that among immigrants tennis has been far ahead of North American, and the third sport behind football and badminton sports like football hockey and baseball. Tennis is the sort of game “that many new citizens are already familiar with and played before coming to Canada,” the report stated.

“There aren’t that many solo Canadian tennis players with British descent,” said Gabriela Dabrowski, a 25-year old doubles specialist from Ottawa who made it to the fourth round in mixed doubles at Wimbledon and won the event at the French Open this year. Her coach was a sports enthusiast who left Poland in the 1980s after the government declared martial law, her daddy, Yurek.

“I believe for Eastern Europeans there is that hunger that we have in our blood since our parents want the best life possible for their children, the life they weren’t able to have. Occasionally, the parents live just a little bit vicariously through their children, which may be good or bad if it is not properly handled,” she added.

Others with European origins comprise Raonic, who was born in Montenegro; and Shapovalov, who had been born in the Soviet Union and received coaching from his mother a player to parents. There Frank Dancevic, whose father is from Serbia Vasek Pospisil, whose parents fled Czechoslovakia in 1988 and Peter Polansky, who has connections that are Czech.

“I really started playing tennis in Romania,” said 17-year older Andreescu, a rising star from Toronto, who dropped in the first round at Wimbledon this year, but gets the second-highest world standing of any female participant her era. “And then we decided to return to Canada for me to have a better chance at what I wanted to do.”

The tide of immigration coincided with the growth of the high-performance training center of Tennis Canada in Montreal, which opened 10 years ago Louis Borfiga, who has dressed some of the best prospects of Canada. The program provides tutoring, covers the cost of traveling and offers training. There are one coming in Calgary and centres in Toronto, Vancouver.

For players like Françoise Abanda, whose parents immigrated from Cameroon to Montreal, the program was a lifesaver. Her mother, who’s currently a parent, would not have been able to pay for the requirements of her sister, Élisabeth, who plays along with an international tennis player for example Abanda.

“It actually gave me that chance to expand evolve and myself and kind of traveling the world,” said Françoise Abanda, 20, who left it into the next round of Wimbledon. “It also takes away that strain from you. You do not feel like, ‘Oh my God, my family is currently wasting . ”’

The African roots of Abanda are no longer odd in tennis since they would have been. The sport has expanded far beyond its traditional base in Europe and North America, and there are players coming from nations as China, Belarus and Fiji. The International Tennis Federation, the governing body of the sport, runs 448 tournaments for players in 125 nations. That contrasts with nine occasions in six states in 1977. The growth is coming from Asia. Players from places like Japan, China and India accounts for about a quarter of all boys and girls.

In Wimbledon, the mixed-doubles spouse of Dabrowski was from India and she played women’s doubles from China with a participant. This past year, Carson Branstine, who moved from California to Canada, played doubles from Ukraine and Canadian Adil Shamasdin, the child of immigrants in Kenya, paired up with a participant from India in men’s doubles.

“If you look at the past [ITF junior] positions, even only from two, three or four decades back, there were not as many foreign kids, it was just all of the significant states were sort of at the top,” stated Branstine, 16, who’s one of the top six junior women on the planet. “Now, you are seeing these players from type of arbitrary places coming up through the rankings and it is cool. I like it. I’ve got friends from all these different areas,” she added, mentioning Burundi and Malta.

Dabrowski credits her dad for helping her reach the top echelon of tennis that is Canadian, and it was not straightforward. The Tennis Canada program hasn’t been gone through by her and her dad was the driving force in her profession, quitting his job to accompany her and serving as her trainer. Dabrowski estimates that it costs more than $50,000 a year for her to compete at events across the world. She’s no sponsors. Her parents took out a mortgage on their house to receive her started and she has decided to concentrate on doubles because it pays the bills.

“My parents and I, we have had to make a good deal of sacrifices through the years,” she said. In terms of her father’s commitment and enthusiasm, she said: “Sport is so huge in Europe it kind of carries over just a little bit.”

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