Editor’s Note: Mr. Davis Cup, Canada’s ambassador for over 20 years, enjoyed his coaching appearance with the Davis Cup Team so much that he now coaches his daughter Tiana. This story was simply one we had to research.
OC: Daniel, how did you decide to get involved as a coach with Tania?
I thought if there were anything I could teach them in life, it would be the thing I know best. I think it’s important for kids to be active and competitive and tennis is a sport they can enjoy their whole lives and be good at. Something that can be uplifting for one’s confidence.
OC: Tiana, what is it like to be coached by your father?
Being coached by my dad has its pros and cons. On the one hand, he always knows what level I am at and what I need to work on to be the best player possible. He also knows how hard I work and when it is an excellent time to give me those much-needed off days. However, my dad can also be hard on me too because he knows the goals I have in life and how good my tennis needs to be to reach them, so sometimes he is tougher on me than other coaches, but in the end, I will appreciate him and all he has done for me.
OC: Daniel, does she listen to you, or is she like her father, doing things her way?
I wouldn’t say that she necessarily listens well; the parent-child on-court coaching situation is always going to be challenging, but I must say that if I had someone as annoying as myself coaching me as a kid, I would not have been able to deal with it. Hence, in that regard, my daughters are pretty receptive.
OC: Tiana, do you always listen to him?
Not always, sometimes I listen to him, although sometimes it’s hard since I am with him so much and some of the tasks he gives me are harder than any other coaches I’ve worked with; at the end of the day, I love working with him, and of course he knows what he is talking about.
OC: Daniel, which aspect of her game do you try to improve?
Mainly her attitude. She doesn’t, unfortunately, have a passion for tennis yet. Maybe one day it will come, so that is already a challenge, but she can still do a better job of competing, showing a little more fire on the court, and trying to run for more balls in the corners.
OC: Daniel, how was it playing at Wimbledon recently with your family watching?
Wimbledon was a fantastic experience; it’s so much fun to be there in a relaxed environment compared to the stress of when I was competing. It’s the pinnacle of our sport and an exceptional venue, so any time I have the chance to be there, I am excited. My kids shared those sentiments as they had a great time watching many great matches, including the men’s and women’s finals, for which we were lucky to get tickets. Watching their Dad play was probably the low point of their experience cause my level is relatively poor nowadays.
OC: Tiana, what was it like seeing your father play and understanding he is part of the tournament’s history?
I think it’s fantastic that my dad made history by winning all four grand slams and a gold medal at the Olympics. I love going to all the different grand slams and seeing all the other traditions and culture that each grand slams have to offer. My favourite grand slam is Wimbledon, and after training with my dad, I want to play on the soft, freshly cut Wimbledon grass, whether or not it be singles or doubles. I had the chance to play on the Wimbledon practice courts, and the overall experience was terrific.
OC: Daniel, would you consider coaching other players?
I would consider it one day, but I’m enjoying being in one place for the most part and being with my family as much as possible. I enjoy coaching at all levels and doing stuff locally, but I must say that being a part of Canada’s run of the Davis cup finals in 2019 was unique, so maybe one day down the road, I might get back out there a little more.
OC: Tiana, what makes you laugh about your dad?
Many things make me laugh when my dad is in the room, but mainly, he is a good storyteller. He talks about all his different tennis experiences, whether or not it is a hilarious or unique motivating stories. Unlike most people, my dad can tell the same story repeatedly, and it never gets old.