*** Stéphanie Dubois was born in Laval, Quebec. She is 26 years old and is a ball of fire on the court. The 5’4” double-handed backhand players is a hard hitter, always going forward. This past year she reached a career high #87 in singles. She has been a mainstay of the Canadian tennis landscape forever it seems, which is great as she is without a doubt one of the most pleasant players. ***
ONcourt: Stéphanie, Canadian women’s tennis is on the upswing. How old are you now?
Stéphanie Dubois: Twenty-five, twenty-six tomorrow.
ONcourt: Twenty-six tomorrow, happy birthday!
SD: Thank you.
ONcourt: You’re a pretty young person to be one of the elder statesmen. How does it feel to be the person that they’re all after and you’re the role model?
SD: I’m young but I’ve been on the circuit for eight or nine years now so it’s been a long time, but there are a lot of Canadians coming up and they’re young and that’s good. I don’t feel old yet but maybe in a couple years (laughs).
ONcourt: Tell me, you say you’ve been on the tour for eight years – it’s quite demanding. How long do you see yourself staying on the tour?
SD: I’ll be twenty-six so I’ll give myself maybe four or five years to reach my goals, where I want to go.
ONcourt: Your goals, you’ve been so close to being in the top-100 on an ongoing basis. You’re always hovering around. What do you think you have to do at this stage of your career to really rise to the next level? Because certainly if you can be 100, you can be 50.
SD: Certainly. Yes, yes, that’s my biggest goal that I want to achieve as soon as possible. You need to keep working hard, keep believing in yourself. Yeah. I guess have a lot of confidence in yourself and go for it.
ONcourt: Do you do anything different in your training or in your physical training?
SD: Ah, well I’ve been with my fitness coach for the last two years, so yeah I’ve changed that. I’ve changed coaches twice in the last five years so we’re putting things together.
ONcourt: Who is your coach?
SD: My coach is Bruno from Mexico. We’ve been working since June. So, about four months.
ONcourt: Are you adding things to your game or are you still Stéphanie, just like going in there head first and smacking them?
SD: I’m always going to fight on the court. I’m always going to be like this but yes we tried to improve some things in my game – the backhand, the serve’s always a big thing to have.
ONcourt: Tell me, you’ve been pretty injury free, haven’t you (compared to most players)?
SD: Yeah, the last two years I’ve been having injuries at the end of the season so it’s pretty much a good time to get them. But yes I’ve been pretty lucky. I think it’s the fitness over the years .
ONcourt: And, if we can talk a little bit about your fitness because I’m very interested in that part to let the kids know, how much fitness do you do and who is your fitness coach and what do you do on the road?
SD: Well my fitness coach is Jamie Livingston. She works with a lot of Olympians and her husband too so they make a big team. And I’m pretty lucky to be on that team with a lot of Olympians who’ve won medals. Fitness, I think, is important to have in your training every week because I think sometimes you should play a little bit less tennis and go and do fitness.
ONcourt: What is the ratio of your fitness to tennis?
SD: Well I would say it would be four to five times a week for an hour. I think that the fitness helps your tennis to be more stable, to be more in shape. You can last longer.
ONcourt: When you’re on the road do you still maintain your fitness?
SD: Yes I do but it’s kind of different. It depends what you do. If you’ve been playing well you play a lot of matches so you do maintenance. But if you lose early you strive to push yourself the first few days. I think it’s important. Also the stretching, recuperation helps a lot, drink a lot of water…and make sure your body is always fresh every day.
ONcourt: If I talked to Stéphanie Dubois four years from now and she’s playing her last year. What does she hope to tell me that she’s accomplished and so forth?
SD: That’s a good question. I think what I want to accomplish as my goals is to be as high as I can be [ranked], love what I’m doing still, and have done my best every day. For sure everyone wants to be the number one in the world but I have my goals to be in the top 20 or top 50 and I hope I can say I did.
ONcourt: Well in my books you’ve always been number one.
SD: (Laughs) Thank you Pierre. Merci.