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Canada’s Two New Tennis Ambassadors: Viktoriya Tabunshchyk and Maria Tanasescu

Fri, Jun 15, 2012

a. Featured, a. Players

Canada’s Two New Tennis Ambassadors: Viktoriya Tabunshchyk and Maria Tanasescu


***ONcourt has decided to start profiling two young players, Viktoriya Tabunschyk and Maria Tanasescu, who are on the Under 12 Canadian Team, which left to compete in Italy for a four-week period.***


We selected these two girls for various reasons. The most important one is that we can access their training and competitive programs easily.

Viktoriya Tabunshchyk was born in Ukraine on January 07, 2001 in the historical old city in the western part of Ukraine, Lviv. Viktoriya and her parents moved to Canada just before she turned two years old. She picked up a tennis racquet when she was 4, and her first shots were fed by her father, Kyrylo. When the family moved to Edmonton at the age of 5, she started to attend group and private lessons at Saville Sports Centre. Looking for a more competitive tennis environment, Viktoriya with her parents and her little sister moved to Burlington, when she was 7 to become a part of the ACE Tennis team – Viktoriya as a player and her Dad as a coach.

Presently, Viktoriya trains at ACE Tennis for 5-6 hours per day, which includes private and group tennis lessons, as well as physical conditioning. Viktoriya competes in a wide variety of tournaments almost every weekend – from U12 local tournaments to Nationals and Open adult tournaments. In the past half of the year, Viktoriya won the U12 interprovincial Ace Cup, the indoor U12 National Selection, a number of U14s and U16s events, was a runner-up at the U14 Provincials, and finsihed 4th at the U12 Nationals. In the last 10 months, she has played a staggering 100+ matches.

Maria Tanasescu, whose parents are Romanian, started to play tennis, when she was 6 years old. She played as a recreational tennis player until the age of 8, when she joined the Players Edge High Performance program. Maria currently trains at ACE Tennis at Toronto Tennis City with Ben Armstrong and other coaches. Maria is the Finalist of the U10 Provincials and the 2012 U12 Indoor National Champion. Maria’s long-term plans are to continue to be among the top players in Canada, and at one point, to be a tennis ambassador for her country around the world.

This past weekend, both Maria and Viktoriya played in the second U12 selections in Ontario, making it to the finals before the rain struck. As a result, the final will take place after they come back from their trip to Italy, which includes three international 3-star tournaments in Padova, Trieste and Porto San Giorgio, Italy. Five U12 players are in the group with Tennis Canada coach Sebastian Scutaru.

Viktoriya and Maria are very excited about having the opportunity to compete against the world’s best junior players. They understand how privileged they are in having been selected by Tennis Canada for this great opportunity. We asked them to share their experience so others could benefit from their travels.

A look at their experiences will provide readers the opportunity to see that there are many ways to achieve success. Now that players are starting at a younger age, parents are much more involved, and many of them are looking to find answers to their own child’s development. Hopefully, we can assist somewhat by providing insight in the development of these two great athletes. There are many similarities: they are great hardworking players, they are beautiful smart young kids, they are of Eastern European backgrounds, their fathers are heavily involved, and they are living their first real international competition. But there are also differences on how they go about achieving their success [for example, emphasis on the number of tournament matches played].

Entry-level tennis has changed dramatically with players starting into the sport at a much younger age. That emphasis has been promoted world-wide by the International Tennis Federation. Tennis Canada has also shifted their attention and resources to the new emphasis – “Progressive Tennis”. Following these two young champions through their Italian travel can provide insight to what the parents of young progressive tennis players can expect and aim for.

Good luck girls, looking forward to your reports.

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17 Responses to “Canada’s Two New Tennis Ambassadors: Viktoriya Tabunshchyk and Maria Tanasescu”

  1. 1
    JohnT Says:

    Parents moved to another city just so their 7 year could play more tennis? Does that seem sane or rational?

  2. 2
    Ivan Says:

    Depends on what your priorities are: if you are investing in your kids’ future, in this case in a career in tennis, it would be irrational no to move, because quality training and being among the people who think alike is essential for reaching this goal.

  3. 3
    Tennis Lover Says:

    Viktoriya Tabunshchyk was born in 1999 and everyone knows about it, it’s Ukrainian tricks

  4. 4
    Tennis Lover Says:

    This information can be found in the Tennis Alberta, probably that is mistake?

  5. 5
    TennisFan Says:

    These are two great athletes, super nice kids! They have great support from their families, they work very hard and are really talented. I wish them All the Very Best!

  6. 6
    Coach Says:

    I agree: these are great athletes and great personalities

  7. 7
    Fair Play Says:

    Tennis Lover…… EVERYONE knows about this worst kept secret. But isn’t that fraud? Why is nothing being done? The reward is going to play international for 4 wks? To all the junior girls that know about this “secret”, the message being sent is clear. Cheat and win! Ask anybody about this secret and they smile and grin. Nobody wants to talk! Tennis Canada needs to be called to account and investigate this. They are the governing body. What they will find may alarm them. If that’s the case, I want a refund on all those tournaments because the deck was stacked against my child. She had no chance in winning and beating a girl that is 2 years older than her at that young age. Another form of bulling if you ask me! Is this what Tennis in Canada represents. I caution the response to this because there are alot of parents fed up with this falsifying age practice and want to see this corrected so that there is fair play.

  8. 8
    TheBear Says:

    Dear Fair play,

    What a bitter outlook. Please if you have any proof of your libelous comments, we would be glad to forward them to the proper authorities. If you are to question the integrity of others you should make sure you have the facts to support your allegations. The great thing about Canada is the freedom to express yourself,even better is the system which protects innocent [especially children] from insidious insinuations.

    I challenge you to provide us the proofs of your allegations. Let’s see how brave and rightful you are now.

  9. 9
    Fair Play Says:

    Dear Bear,

    My comments were not intended to be directed towards a junior player rather the practice of age misrepresentation. That is the WORST kept secret. It came from questioning the above comment. I do not wish to turn your helpful website into a gossip column. The sarcasm did not come through as intended. My apologies for the way it was written and will be more careful to future contributions.

  10. 10
    U12 Adventures in Italy | Says:

    [...] Last week we introduced  our readers to Canada’s two new tennis ambassadors: Viktoriya Tabunshchyk and Maria Tanasescu. Viktoriya and Maria are currently competing in Italy together with three other U12 players under the guidance of Tennis Canada Coach Sebastian Scutaru. [...]

  11. 11
    JohnT Says:

    Ivan says “Depends on what your priorities are: if you are investing in your kids’ future, in this case in a career in tennis,”. I guess that the parents want them to be tennis instructors then? Because the statistical probability of any canadian breaking into the top 100 is VERY VERY low, but I’m sure the parents already know those numbers since they must have studied the issue carefully prior to moving. It would be fair to say that they may be rational, but with have a very high risk tolerance, or a high family income.

  12. 12
    Reader Says:

    Dear Fair Play,

    If you think that Viktoriya is 13 years of age, then you have a very little idea about human physiology. Just look at her!

  13. 13
    OTPP Says:

    Well, this is what I never expected. Jealousy is not a good feeling. As many may know it is self destructive.
    We should be happy that there are kids who can represent our province and our country internationally. I wish them the best of luck and good results.
    As per some comments:
    I can not talk about Maria because I do not know her personally and did not see her practicing.
    I can talk about Victoria because I see her when she is practicing at ACE and I also see her on some tournaments.
    I did not see her birth certificate but I saw her and I talked to her on multiple occasions. Based on my observations she is nowhere near 13.
    I do not know why we even discuss this baseless statements. Probably jealousy.
    The other thing is Victoria’s parents decision to move.
    The question is why it is anybody’s business?
    As a family they made a decision and no one else should be concerned.
    Besides Victoria’s father is a coach in ACE so he probably is coaching her most of the time. Obviously family income is not relevant to this subject.
    There is no risk at all. The kid goes to school and practice tennis. She has at least 5 more years to train in order to see where she wants to go.
    The main thing is that Victoria is very hard working kid with exceptional on court and off court behavior. She is one of the best if not the best U12 player and in top 15 in U14 player.
    She is an example for many other kids.
    Why is the buzz then.
    Jealousy and arrogance is the answer.

  14. 14
    CommonSense Says:

    Owww, comments from Tennis Lover and Fair Play are so classless and irresponsible.. I hope they don’t post any stupid comments again on this site! I understand they enjoy free speech but spreading rumours to attack somebody’s character and in this case, a small child? How low can you be? Unless both of your mothers were there helping the kid’s mother deliver her, you can claim you have facts or 1st knowledge about the kid’s birth date. Else, shut up or you will make a fool of yourself by spreading wrong rumours! Nowadays, even newspaper make mistakes in their prints! So, be careful of what you are saying and please do distinguish between facts and rumours!

    If your daughters got beaten by Viktoriya, you should look at it in a positive way as a good feedback or lesson and thank her for showing you which areas your daughters need to improve and go home and work harder. That’s how you improve in tennis.. Jealousy is short-sighted.

  15. 15
    Sports Lover Says:

    Many people claim that Viktoriya isn’t actually an 11 year old girl. There are possiblilities that she is, or she isnt. To this point it doesnt matter. She is a great player and a very charming young girl. Even if she was 12 or 13 she would still be considered a great player. (Which I am not convinced she is)
    But there are many more players in Canada that have an even more extream case than Viktoriya. For example, I was at U14 and U16 tournaments and some girls and boys claim they are 13 when they look like 10th graders. These are the players that we should be focusing more on. Not a young girl like Viktoriya when there are plenty of other players with much more extream cases in age cheating.

  16. 16
    OTPP Says:

    I do not know if people are aware of the fact that when you register with OTA you need to send the copy of kid’s birth certificate.
    At least it was the case when I register my kid.
    For those who was born in Canada it is pretty straightforward. There is no way you can fake a birth certificate. (I hope)
    For those who was born outside of Canada it depends on the country. Yes, in many European, Asian, Middle East, Central and South America countries you can buy anything you want but when you come to Canada as an immigrant you have to fill up many forms and documents. Those include family details.
    Anyone who was going through the immigration process had to provide details about family members including kids’ date of birth. When I got landed immigrant permission my kid birth day was shown in my landed immigrant papers.
    If someone is very concerned about age cheating there is no problem to check.
    If there is age cheating it is a small percentage.

    The other thing is that you cannot judge kids’ age based on their look. Many things depend on genetics. I have a friend whose kid was born in Canada. He is 13, he does not play tennis he plays soccer. When you look at him he is almost 6 foot tall. If you do not see his face close you would think that he graduated from the high school.
    By the way there are also old people who look younger than they are.
    Should we assume that they are cheating because they want to retire faster?

  17. 17
    FACT Says:

    Jan 7 2010 several kids are invited to celebrate Viktoriya Tabunschyk’s 10th birthday at Cedar Springs Health and Raquet Club. Couple of weeks latter started the story of her beeing 9 years old. It was about the time when OTA started to request birth cerificate. So I am not really commenting
    anything. I am just stating the facts as they did happened. It is up to everybody to make up his own mind.

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