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Sharon Fichman “Rolling With the Punches”

Photo credit: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images

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***Sharon Fichman ranks with Helen Kelesi and Carling Bassett as Canadian junior players who were dominant figures in their junior days. She won the U 12 Orange Bowl, had great results in Junior Grand Slams, was the #1 Canadian U 18 junior player in singles and doubles at the age of 13 and was the youngest Canadian Fed Cup Team member at the age of … 14 Wow!***

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ONcourt: Firstly, tell us about your injury. How did you get it? How does it feel now?

Sharon Fichman: I had some muscles spasms and irritation in my glute and it was very painful. It’s pretty complicated to explain but it’s something that could get worse if it’s not treated properly so it was important to take the time off. This type of injury happens for all kinds of reasons. I had been training and traveling a lot and that included flipping back and forth between time zones and I think my body was just fatigued and susceptible. It’s a learning experience though. I learned how far I can push my body and what I can expect from myself in certain circumstances. The only way to learn to ever get better is to push yourself and see where your limits are.

It is feeling much better now, I am in Brazil at the moment with the Canadian Fed Cup team and afterwards I will be playing a string of tournaments in South America.

ONcourt: What is your attitude when it comes to injuries? How do you cope with them mentally and emotionally?

Sharon Fichman: My attitude is “roll with the punches.” No one tries to get injured, these things just happen. If you don’t get minor injuries once in a while that you aren’t pushing yourself enough. On the other hand, if you get injured too much then you might want to rethink what you’re doing. It’s important to find a balance and I think that my balance is pretty good.

ONcourt: Do you believe injuries are inevitable or can most be prevented through flexibility and strength training?

Sharon Fichman: I believe that minor injuries are inevitable and that some major injuries are just bad luck. I also believe that a lot of injuries can be prevented by strength, conditioning, endurance and other important fitness training along with stretching. The most important thing that I believe though is that a lot of players, young and older, get injured because they have inefficient technique on one or more strokes that cause certain muscles or body parts to be under extra strain to the point where serious, chronic injuries occur. I believe that one of the most important things for injury prevention is to have efficient technique.

ONcourt: Good luck in the upcoming Fed Cup match in Brazil. How is the team looking and feeling?

Sharon Fichman: Thanks! We are all looking and feeling great. We are all training hard and getting as prepared as possible for our upcoming matches. We start competing in a couple of days and we are all super pumped!

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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.

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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.

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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.