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Gabriela Dabrowski: Canadian Star Gets No Help From Tennis Canada

Thu, Jul 14, 2011

a. Featured, a. Players

Gabriela Dabrowski: Canadian Star Gets No Help From Tennis Canada

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***19 year old, Ottawa native Gabriela Dabrowski was a top international player, reaching #5 in the International Tennis Federation Junior World Rankings and winning the prestigious Orange Bowl Under 18 category. The many times Canadian Junior Champion is presently ranked 430 on the WTA circuit. She opted out of the National Training Center in Montreal because her and her father did not think it was the proper environment for her development. As a result, Tennis Canada support was cut off from one of Canada’s top prospects. We talked to her in Granby recently.***

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ONcourt: What is your playing status now?

Gabriela Dabrowski: Playing pro tournaments.

ONcourt: Have you turned pro?

Gabriela Dabrowski: Yes.

ONcourt: Have you finished High School?

Gabriela Dabrowski: No. I’m finishing my high school credits online.

ONcourt: Is (was) college ever an option?

Gabriela Dabrowski: Yes. However, I was committed to going pro.

ONcourt: Winning the Orange Bowl Under 18 is as big as it gets in junior tennis, what did you expect afterwards?

Gabriela Dabrowski: I probably expected better results at the time; however, the knee injury I sustained during that Florida trip did not allow me to train and play as hard as I wanted to.

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: Who is your coach now and where do you train?

Gabriela Dabrowski: I am with my dad because that is all we can afford and we practice at city courts near my house. We train in Florida during the winter  so I get conditioned for hot weather play and some nice people lend us their house.

ONcourt: Is your father still heavily involved in your career?

Gabriela Dabrowski: Yes and always will be because I am understanding more and more what he is providing towards my tennis.

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.

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2 Responses to “Gabriela Dabrowski: Canadian Star Gets No Help From Tennis Canada”

  1. 1
    MartinZikmund Says:

    No wonder when our juniors turn pro they are getting smoked. Here we have such a gifted athlete and tennis Canada does not want to provide for her. I can feel your frustration through the computer!!

  2. 2
    Mark Wunsch Says:

    While I am largely in agreement with Taubes (and many others of late) regarding the perils of white sugars and processed foods, in Taubes’ universe white rice is also off the table. That doesn’t jive with its place as a staple of the Thai and other Asian diets.

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