ACE: You had elbow surgery this year. How was the recovery process for that physically and mentally?
Having surgery as an athlete is a big setback and can affect many athletes mentally in the worst ways. However, I tried to treat my surgery and recovery in the most positive way possible. My surgery was called an Ulnar Nerve Transposition.
I was not able to play any Tennis a couple of months before my surgery because the pain was ever so much. When I finally had my surgery done Mid January of 2019, I wasn’t able to do anything for two weeks; I was trapped in my room with nothing but my phone, computer, and company. I felt like I had a serious case of cabin fever after those two weeks and I got really depressed and unmotivated. I ended up losing 16LBS in a short period of time and didn’t have any more hope.
When the doctor took my cast off for the first time in 14 days, and I got to move my elbow, I felt joy and hope that I can move forward and continue to pursue my dream of being a professional tennis player. I got to start working in the gym a bit more every day and was trying to gain as much muscle back as possible before I was allowed to get back on court. I watched a bunch of tennis on the TV and missed everything about the sport so much; I always remembered that every day was a day closer to the moment I got to step back on court.
My parents and my coach were a big part of keeping me mentally tough during my recovery by always keeping me motivated and smiling!!!
ACE: After you recovered from surgery, you started training more full time with ACE Tennis. What brought you to ACE as you live in Richmond Hill?
My mom has seen Mike Hall work with many students over the years and liked his personality and how he works and convinced me to get it a try even though it was a hassle to get there most days of the week. As long as the training satisfied the requirements I needed to get better, the distance to get to ACE was not a problem for us anymore.
ACE: What has your training been like since you started with ACE – what are some of the differences from how you were training before.
Since I started with ACE there has been a lot of individual work which I really like because it allows s to work on strengths and weaknesses closely and develop discipline. Training at ACE has really taught me the reasoning for discipline and staying in shape and I could see the improvements fast after I started training there.
ACE: You have had quite the summer having fairly successful events in Saskatoon, Granby, and the Rogers Cup. What can you associate your successful summer to?
I started this tour after many weeks of training at ACE which helped me physically and mentally leading up to the tournaments. There were many days when I would wake up and feel so exhausted from the week of training that I wouldn’t want to go to practice, however getting out of bed and end up having another good day on court has made me mentally tough and in shape for the summer. I had certain goals in mind for this tour and having these goals helped me train for them and accomplish them.
ACE: What are your goals for this next year?
My goals for this next year are:
• Top 400 WTA in singles
• Top 300 WTA in doubles
• Win a 25K event or higher
• Earn a spot in the Rogers Cup main draw 2020
ACE: Are you going to go the route of playing NCAA Tennis? If so, do you have some schools in mind?
My dream has always been to go down the route of becoming a professional tennis player, however as I got older I realized that NCAA is a good option for many athletes before going pro. My results at the moment don’t give me the chance to go pro without going to school first so I believe that going to university could be a good option for me. University gives Tennis players and all athletes an opportunity to play against the best players in the country and train in an environment of your choice, while mine is preferably an environment where many have the desire to go pro after university as well. I took 4 visits to Universities: Ohio State (Big Ten conference), University of Kentucky (SEC conference), University of South Carolina (SEC conference), and University of Georgia (SEC conference). Most of these schools are in the SEC conference because I believe that this is the strongest conference in the United States.
ACE: What is some advice you can give to some of the younger aspiring juniors at ACE who might looks up to you, and aspire to compete on the Rogers Cup one day?
In my opinion, in order to be successful in a sport or anything in life, you have to enjoy doing it. You have to be able to make certain sacrifices that you might not want to make, however you know everything will pay off if you stick to your goals. Being responsible and disciplined is very important in order to be a good athlete because it’s not only what you do on court, it’s what you do off court that can make you great as well, such as routines, doing extra, and even things that aren’t related to sport at all. You have to be able to listen to the team that is around you, such as coaches and family, because a support system is the most valuable thing you can have at the best moments as well as the worst.