Carmen Sandor: “Don’t Take My Word For It”

Written by: Carmen Sandor


***Carmen Sandor is top 10 OTA junior member since under 14 category, ranked as high as 11th in Canada women’s. She is a member of the Penn State women’s tennis team.***


Chances are that if you are a junior player going into college you at some point have come across someone that has either played, or is currently playing college tennis. And chances are that your blistering curiosity has probably got the better of you and has lead you to asking them what THEIR college experience has been like.  They probably told you about the work load, their tennis team, or the juggling act between tennis, school and having a life. Maybe they told you about their roommate or how the commons food has been conveniently easy on their time, taste buds and wallet but unfortunately -as you might be able to tell- not so convenient on their scale. College is a big decision that requires everyone to make their own set of difficult choices and everyone factors in different alternatives. The biggest one most juniors face is the question between which is more important: their tennis or their academics? Once you make this choice you will notice that you will start to weigh the pros and cons of all your choices. Until you eventually narrow it down. Sometimes the choice you make is just based on a gut feeling, something that instinctively lets you know that you could see this place being your home for the next four years. This usually happens after a first visit to the school.

For me it was a matter of development. I always knew I wanted to continue playing a high level of tennis and after the harsh reality that playing pro tournaments requires a lot more dedication, resilience and money than you might have originally imaged as a young, eager junior. I wasn’t ready mentally, physically or emotionally to face the daily “grind of the tour”, as many might call it. So my decision became easy. For many this realization might be a sad one to face, but for me I soon came to realize that competing in college brings a whole different dimension to playing tennis that you might not know exists as a junior or as a professional on the tour.

How many professionals or juniors do you know that have access to a full time psychologist? Or nutritionist? Or fitness trainer? Or an on-call doctor? To weekly competitive matches? And daily training rain or shine? It’s a tough standard to meet unless you have the financial means or happen to be in the top 20 internationally. Aside from that you are no longer playing for yourself, you are playing for a team; it’s a different pressure on your shoulders.

But as I said earlier, my experiences are unique to me; everyone faces different challenges during this process. Everyone has to make different choices depending on that particular moment in their lives. And the transition you make from junior or potential pro might come easily to you but may be more difficult for others. Change is a certainty in everyone’s life, so perhaps the best piece of advice I can give is to not forget to factor it in.

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.