Maria Sharapova Gets Ready for French Open with Marisa

Written by: Marisa Tassone


***Marisa Tassone is an OTA ranked player training at Player’s Edge with Bill Cowan. Marisa went to Paradise Island in Bahamas and got to live every kid’s dream: to play with their idol.***


Every kid who plays a sport dreams of playing with his/her idol.  On a recent trip to the Bahamas, I got the surprise of a lifetime when my parents told me that I would be on court with one of my tennis idols, Maria Sharapova.  I found out I was going to hit with Maria in January of this year when my parents found out she was going to be having an exhibition match with Gisela Dulko. My parents found out that her coach Cecil Mammiit and Gisela Dulko’s coach and brother Alejandro Dulko were going to have a workshop where I would have the opportunity of playing with Maria. They signed me up right away!

Before the day came I was not nervous at all, but as it got closer and closer, I became more nervous. That morning, to say I was nervous was an understatement.  The last thing I wanted to do was look bad in front of Maria and Cecil. Cecil took us through some drills and this really helped to calm me down. That is until I saw the “girls” as Cecil called them, arrive.  When Maria Sharapova and Gisela Dulko walked onto the court, I was in awe.  At 6’2” tall, Maria is striking and also a little intimidating but talking to her, you soon realize that she’s not only an amazing tennis player (ranked # 1 in the world four different times) but she’s extremely down-to-earth and funny.

She was definitely one of my favorite tennis players before the opportunity. When I started the sport (2 and a half years ago), she was one of the most famous tennis players at the time. She has many endorsements such as Nike and even brands that are not related to sports, so she is well known in the world outside of tennis as well, and I had heard of her before I was more involved in tennis.

Maria is playing some of the best tennis of her life right now but I don’t know if I was responsible for this. She has really been putting the time into her game! But it would be nice to think I was her good luck charm!

Being on court with her is an experience I will never forget.

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.