***Maria Tanasescu started to play tennis, when she was 6 years old. She played as a recreational tennis player till the age of 8, when she joined Players Edge High Performance program. Maria currently trains at ACE Toronto Tennis City Academy with Ben Armstrong and other coaches. Finalist of U10 Provincials and the 2012 U12 Indoor National Champion, she is now preparing for the upcoming international tennis competitions in Europe.***
ONcourt: Congratulations Maria on winning the U12 Singles and Doubles Indoor National Championships and the Sportsmanship Award! How does it feel?
Maria Tanasescu: Thank you. It feels very rewarding after all the effort and hard work I put in.
ONcourt: Was it a goal to win the Nationals?
Maria Tanasescu: Yes, definitely. One of the most important ones.
ONcourt: How did you train/prepare for this event?
Maria Tanasescu: I have tried to follow up a schedule that was set up by my coach and my dad, which included group practices in both National and Provincial programs at ACE Toronto Tennis City (TTC), private lessons and some extra hitting based on tennis homework given by my coach and done together with my dad.
ONcourt: What sort of training did you do? Physical training? Psychological?
Maria Tanasescu: In my training, I’ve tried to fill up as many gaps as possible at the physical, mental, tactical and technical levels. Physically, I have followed the TTC fitness programs together with a private program with my fitness coach, Carmela Perry. Mentally, I participated at some of TTC training sessions and I have tried a form of yoga together with my dad. Tactical and technical details were put in place by my private coach, Ben Armstrong.
ONcourt: What sort of routines do you have?
Maria Tanasescu: I have tried to wake up in the morning, three times per week, to hit for about 2 hours before going to school. Then after school, I went either to TTC for group and private lessons, or did the homework assigned during the private lessons. We tried to maintain an average of 3 hours per day of tennis and fitness for the last two months before the tournament.
ONcourt: How big of a role did your family play?
Maria Tanasescu: My family played a huge role. My dad was Ben’s right hand, which made sure that all the details, thought during private lessons, were in place, by hitting with me and feeding me lots of balls. My mom and grandmother were watching my diet and also gave me rides to tournaments or training sessions, and my sister, who is also a tennis player, was supporting and encouraging me all the time.
ONcourt: What are your plans now?
Maria Tanasescu: My plans are to improve my mental attitude and to be more and more ‘in the zone’ while I am playing, in order to play my best tennis every time. Also, I am preparing for summer Nationals and some internationals tournaments too.
ONcourt: What are your long-term aspirations and plans for tennis?
Maria Tanasescu: My long-term plans are to continue to be among the top players in Canada, and at one point, to be a tennis ambassador of my country around the world. I have big dreams, but I want first to make them reality and then I will talk about them publicly.
ONcourt: What do you do when you don’t reach your goals?
Maria Tanasescu: I always come back home and train even harder and smarter.
ONcourt: Any other comments?
Maria Tanasescu: I would like to thank my coach, Ben, for all his guidance and training. Many thanks to my home club, TTC, to Pierre Lamarche and Allan Tse, who were supporting me all the time, and also thank you Tennis Canada for inviting me to some of their programs. I would also like to congratulate my doubles partner, Bianca Andreescu, for keeping me positive and doing half the work needed to win the Doubles Nationals. Way to go Bianca!
ONcourt: Thank you Maria. We wish you all the best in your tennis career.