korea

BNP Paribas 2012 World Team Cup

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***Joel Dembe, Canada’s #1 singles and doubles wheelchair tennis player, recently played for Canada in the BNP Paribas 2012 World Team Cup in Seoul, Korea, from May 21-27. Canada’s team lost narrowly to South Africa, who qualified for World Group 1. Canada finished 7th place with some decisive victories along the way.***

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ONcourt: How do you feel the tournament went?

Joel Dembe: I felt it went pretty good considering it was the first time I participated in the World Team Cup as the anchor of the Men’s team. I was happy to have some solid wins over Greece and Nigeria, but was disappointed to lose against South Africa. I was really close to beating some higher ranked players and overall, I’m encouraged by the progress I made during the event.

ONcourt: What were the key things that you learned?

Joel Dembe: I learned that when I raise my intensity level, my game tends to elevate as well. I need to find a way to remain intense and focused throughout an entire match and not ease off from that. Also, every shot needs to be hit with authority and intention, or my opponents will pounce.

ONcourt: What was the tournament atmosphere like there?

Joel Dembe: The atmosphere was great! The entire Canadian team got along really well. Being in the first World Team Cup to be held in Asia was also really neat.

ONcourt: How did you like the on-court coaching?

Joel Dembe: I really liked it because Ben Armstrong (my personal coach) was there with me. I felt like he improved my play on court and gave me way more direction. I think it was a good experience for him as well. We both learned a lot.

ONcourt: You have recently been officially named to the Paralympic Team. How does it feel?

Joel Dembe: Feels great! I made the decision to train full-time to get to London back in November 2010. Knowing how hard I’ve worked since then, it is a huge weight off my shoulders. Not many people in Canada have the opportunity to do this kind of thing, so it’s definitely special.

ONcourt: How did you like Korea?

Joel Dembe: I loved it! Seoul has a great blend of the traditional and modern, and I got a chance to see a lot of the city. I ate a ton of Korean food like kimchi and kimbop. I loved the food. Koreans also love baseball, which is awesome.

ONcourt: What are you going to do leading to the Paralympics?

Joel Dembe: Practice, practice, practice. I know what I need to work on and now I just have to spend a great deal of time on and off court to improve my game. I’ll be playing in the French Open in a few weeks, and playing several events in North America in July.

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.