I forgot about that site. It's got some great interviews with players we don't usually hear much from.
It's interesting to read about some of the juniors' experiences with the NTC and with Tennis Canada's help. It's obviously helped a bunch of players (Raonic, Pospisil, Marino, Peliwo, Bouchard) but it's also unfortunate that players outside of the NTC don't get the same support from TC.
ONcourt: Was it a hard decision for you to leave Canada and the support Tennis Canada provided with your travels?
Alejandro Tabilo: Sincerely, it was not a hard decision at all. I requested my parents to pull me out of the program several times since January of this year. The environment at Tennis Canada was very hostile. I felt I was being tortured and humiliated. This issue was reported to Tennis Canada management and it was ignored. These documents have been archived. I want to thank my parents for making the effort of having me in a world class tennis academy. Thanks to them I will be able to keep on travelling.
ONcourt: Why did you leave the National Center in Montreal?
Gabriela Dabrowski: Different reasons. The main one was there wasn’t any specific technical training and poor fitness training too. I also became a transition player and yet I was still hitting with juniors so I wasn’t experiencing faster or a more elite level of hitting. I was promised a coach for myself only if I had made the top 10 in juniors… I achieved top 5 and I never got a coach to myself (Tennis Canada changed the rules to be two players per one coach, and the coach had to be of their choosing, and they wouldn’t let parents be involved at all – it was all “their way” or no funding/support at all). There were also some personal issues that were disappointing that made me want to leave.
ONcourt: What did you like and not like about it?
Gabriela Dabrowski: I was missing home. The players from Quebec were very lucky to be able to go home every day after training.
There was too much traveling rather than focusing on improving my game. Also, fitness wise, each player is different and has different needs, yet we were all doing the same things.
Some positives are that almost everything was paid for so there was no financial burden on my parents and I gained some independence.
ONcourt: What do you see for the next 12 months?
Gabriela Dabrowski: An ideal situation would be me traveling to more tournaments if I had a sponsor or funding. However, that is not the case, so I’m just hoping to play the tournaments I can afford. It’s unfortunate that even when I earned the most points for carding, the players from the center were awarded funding because they were from the center. It doesn’t seem fair that players who have everything, pay to get additional funding and those who are struggling, get nothing.