Katarina Shulaeva: Past the Crossroads


***Katy Shulaeva was 23 years old and suddenly knew that all options had been exhausted and that her career was over. The stress injury to her foot, after two operations and years of rehabilitation, was never going to be able to withstand the grind of day to day competitive tennis, Suddenly from having seven more years to achieve her goal of becoming a top ranked player, the former Canadian Champion and Fed Cup player found herself out of work with a brand new life staring her in the face.***


ONcourt: How difficult was it for you to retire at such a young age?

Katarina Shulaeva: It was a decision that had been made with careful consideration and that I gave a lot of time to. I was at peace with retiring so young because I just felt that it wasn’t in the cards for me. After 5 years of ongoing injuries, my mind was suffering from the frustration of not being able to achieve the goals I set for myself. I really truly believed that I had the capabilities to be one of the best players in the world and I was very committed to my path of professional tennis. When my injuries hit and wouldn’t subside, it wore me down mentally and I became unhappy with tennis. So to retire young was unfortunate but was the best decision made for myself personally.

ONcourt: Do you have any second thoughts about the decisions made during your tennis career?

Katarina Shulaeva: I wish to have listened to my body more closely during my years of training. I was a work horse and pushed myself too much at times, causing injuries and burn outs before my peaks. I feel I missed many competitions due to injuries that could have been avoided.

ONcourt: You are now coaching, how did you come to this decision?

Katarina Shulaeva: I always thought as a player that I was not interested in coaching, I wanted to play only. So after deciding to stop, I certainly was not seeking out to coach. Pierre Lamarche gave me an opportunity to stay busy so as not to mourn my career for too long, and I began to work with a couple of girls. It was very natural and satisfying helping others. I have been given so much throughout my career and I would like nothing more to give back to the tennis community. I feel that I fell into coaching and I am excited to have the opportunity to grow and learn at ACE Tennis Academy.

ONcourt: Do you think this will be a career and if it is, how are you going to approach it?

Katarina Shulaeva: I want this to be a career and I want to approach it as so. I am going to get all of my certification through Tennis Canada and with the help of Ari Novick, have figured out a path for the best way to get a well rounded education as a coach. I have so much to learn and am approaching every day with a learning attitude. I look forward to the future… Helping others, developing great players and becoming the best coach I can be.

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.