She has been training out of Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre in Montreal since October, but for the first time this week, Carson Branstine has a Canadian flag next to her name on her player profile.
That’s because the 16-year-old native of California had been representing her country of birth since she started on the tennis scene. However, Branstine’s mother was born in Ontario, most of her family still lives there, and she has always held dual citizenship. Last year, she decided to make the switch and represent her Canadian roots.
“Canada’s always been a part of my life, it’s always been spoken very highly of in my family,” Branstine explained. “It felt right to come here, it was my second home and now it’s my first home which I am very happy about.”
So far, Branstine is adjusting very well to her new home, both on and off the court.
“I’m loving Montreal, it’s such a cool city. There’s so many things that I had no idea about until this past month, I did some exploring and there’s so many cultures and cool places,” Branstine said. “Everything here (at the National Training Centre) is like a dream, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. We’re all really good friends, it’s a good atmosphere, we’re all pushing each other to get to the next level, it helps a lot.”
Branstine is currently ranked no. 17 on the ITF junior rankings. In 2016, she reached the semifinals of the Eddie Herr International and the Orange Bowl, two marquee events classified just under the Grand Slams on the junior calendar. In January, she won her first junior Major title at the Australian Open, capturing the doubles crown alongside her new compatriot Bianca Andreescu.
Branstine will play her first tournament as a Canadian at the Grade 1 USTA International Spring Championships beginning the week of March 20 before heading to Europe for more clay court events ahead of Roland-Garros.
She’s armed with a big serve and a big forehand, she’s a Grand Slam champion, she plays guitar, but Branstine also has another special talent: “I am the only person in my family who can cook, actually!”