vika

From Belarus with Love: Viktoriya Kisialeva

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***What you should know about Viktoryia: The 84 ITF ranked junior lives in Toronto with her parents, she is coached by Pierre Lamarche and she plays for Belarus. Recently she played the Australian Open junior event before going back to Belarus to write her first year university exams. She’s now back in Toronto planning her assault on the women‘s WTA tour.***

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Date of Birth: December 30, 1993

Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus

Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nationality: Belarusian

Height: 178cm

Weight:66kg

Plays:Left-handed

ONcourt: How did you get going in the sport?

Viktoryia Kisialeva: When I was 5 years old, I started to take figure skating lessons (for about a year). Right when I turned 8 years old, a friend from school suggested to take a few tennis lessons. At the same time, I started to practice modern dance. It was like that for approximately half a year. It was a huge workload for me to combine my trainings and studies at school. So I had to make a choice. And I chose tennis. But at that time I was only playing tennis for myself, I didn’t dream big yet.

ONcourt: When did you become serious about the game?

VK: When I was 9 years old, I was admitted to the Olympic National Center of Belarus, and that was the time when I clearly understood that tennis would become one of the main goals in my life.

ONcourt: How did you end up in Canada?

VK: When I turned 12 years old, my family moved to Canada. I was very worried about my tennis lessons, and wanted to believe that I could continue training. We had been told about three clubs: Mayfair West, ACE Tennis Burlington and Richmond Hill Country Club. ACE was too far for me to go to, so I tried both Mayfair West and Richmond Hill Country Club, and decided to stop on the last one since it seemed the most convenient at that time. I am endlessly grateful to Richard Hernandez and Tessa Shapovalova who helped me grow and not give up on tennis in a new country. I had the highest ranking in the OTA and played the Nationals. One year later, that wasn’t enough for me anymore and I decided to go train to Belorussia for some time.

Soon after that, I started to play ITF tournaments. 4 times I have been part of the Belorussian Fed Cup team. In 2009, our team took the third place at the European Championship. I also played at the European Championship for U16 where I was the 5th in singles and the 3rd in doubles.

In 2007 I was the Eddie Herr finalist in U14 doubles, followed by the U16 doubles victory at the same tournament in 2008. In 2009 I became the National Champions of Belarus. By that time, I graduated from school, and in 2010 I became a student of the Belarusian State University of Physical Culture.

ONcourt: Now you are back training in Canada?

VK: During one of the ITF tournaments in Burlington, I met Pierre Lamarche. As I am thinking right now, I turned out to be at the right place at the right time. Pierre agreed to work with me. At the club I met Katy Shulaeva who is currently helping me a lot, and it is a great pleasure to train together with her. I love working with Pierre. During these two months that I have trained with him, he helped me a lot.

ONcourt: What does the future hold for you?

VK: As for my future goals and objectives, I can see myself in the professional sport. We will see how it goes. Meanwhile, I plan to continue training with Pierre [if he is not against the idea  ]

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.