Over 11 years ago, in the fall of 2007, Tennis Canada opened the doors to its National Tennis Centre (NTC). Since then, the structure put together by the Vice-President of High Performance, Louis Borfiga, has certainly proved successful and will welcome again this year a new group of athletes who are following in the footsteps of players like Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard, Carol Zhao and Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Since its opening, 41 athletes have passed through the NTC. Of this group, 10 have played or are currently playing on the professional tour and 26 have played or are still playing on the American University NCAA circuit. In fact, the NTC counts 16 alumni who went on to graduate from American University.
This year, the NTC will welcome four newcomers, as Justin Boulais (Oakville, ON), Stefan Simeunovic (Niagara Falls, ON), Maxime St-Hilaire (Lévis, QC) and Jaden Weekes (LaSalle, QC) have all made Montreal their home. They will join veteran NTC members Carson Branstine (Orange County, CA) and Taha Baadi (Laval, QC). Originally from California, Branstine has been training in Montreal since 2016 and has since chosen to represent Canada. For his part, Baadi joined the NTC last year.
In addition, girls U16 national training camps will be organized regularly at the National Tennis Centre.
The current coaching staff will return for the upcoming season and their roles will more or less remain the same. Thus, Sylvain Bruneau will continue to spearhead the women’s program and will work closely with Simon Larose. Guillaume Marx will oversee the men’s program with the assistance of Ruben Alcantara and Nikolai Haessig, a former NTC athlete who has been a coach for several months. André Parent, Nicolas Perrotte and Virginie Tremblay will return as the fitness coaches while André Barette will continue his role as Academic Consultant.
National Junior Training Programs
Tennis Canada has also put in place three National Training Programs for young athletes between the ages of 8 and 15, which have already been well established for a few years in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and now in Calgary. These programs are used to detect new talent and then ensure proper follow-up in their development and one day lead them to the National Tennis Centre. The goal is to collaborate with the various tennis clubs and their coaches to optimize the work already being done in clubs by setting specific goals.