Tennis Canada is making headway in player development. Upon taking the Instructor Level One course in 2014, I sensed that the curriculum for the introductory player was strong. There have been advancements in addressing the needs of the young players. This year at Roland Garros, four Canadian women have merited entries into first round qualifying with No. 120 ranked Francoise Abanda leading the charge. In fact Ms. Abanda was seeded 16 in the qualifying tournament.
Indeed, Ms. Abanda has ruffled some feathers of late in her claim that race has played a role in the context of her lack of exposure on the tennis scene despite her rise in ranking. She could be right. She could be wrong but she’s allowed to feel the way she feels. One can label her as a “victim” or a grandstander. In a facebook post just yesterday, I wished luck to the Canadian men vying for the French Open title but I did so having first checked the first round of the women’s draw having concluded that no Canadian woman made it through qualifying. I am sensitive this way knowing full well the current state of Bouchard’s game and the past history of Canadian women’s tennis. Bianca Andreescu just missed by the way.
I’m willing to cut Canadian sport reporters some slack given Canada’s tennis track record. The most decorated Canadian tennis player, Daniel Nestor, did in fact move out of the country (for good reason due to our exorbitant tax system) and his residency would have been relevant in our sports reporters refrain from covering him. Have you heard of him? Canada’s attention to the sport has paralleled the relative lack of players at the top level but it’s good to see that things are changing. More indoor facilities and grass roots programs will further improve the sport’s appeal.