It often seems as though a Fed Cup team is four players and a captain, since they’re the ones who appear on the courts and promotional posters and at press conferences. But it takes more than players to make up a squad. Indeed, an entire army works behind the scenes.
The Canadian Fed Cup team counts on a coach (Nathalie Tauziat), a physical trainer (Clément Golliet), a doctor (Pierre Messier), two physiotherapists (Carmine Felice and Larysa Krawek), a hitting partner (Hugo Di Feo) and a team manager (André Barette). Their sole mission is to use their expertise to make sure the athletes are at the top of their game when the weekend gets underway.
In our Behind the scenes series, you’ll get to know some of the people in the shadows and learn more about the supporting roles they play.
Nathalie Tauziat – coach
Most tennis fans are likely to recognize the name Nathalie Tauziat. A former player on the professional tour, she made a deep run to the singles final at Wimbledon in 1998, reached a career-high ranking of no. 3 and won eight singles titles. She was also part of the 1997 French Fed Cup team, which won its first title in history. She would transition to coaching after taking her retirement in 2003, working with the likes of Eugenie Bouchard and Bianca Andreescu.
She is now in her first Fed Cup tie as the coach for the Canadian Team. She believes that one of her most important responsibilities this week is to help the players adapt to the clay in order to give their best efforts. She is on the court everyday during practice with the team, getting them ready for the matches.
For Tauziat, the best part about the job is being around the athletes and the team environment that comes with the Fed Cup. As for the toughest part about being the coach, she says it is making sure all of the players stay motivated and are confident in their game, seeing as they are playing on a surface that is not their favourite.
Tauziat has been involved with Tennis Canada for a number of years already, acting as a coach for some of the Federation’s players. She notably coached both Genie Bouchard and Bianca Andreescu when they were juniors.
Knowing what it feels like to represent your country and to win a Fed Cup, Tauziat understands the pressure that comes with being nominated. She also knows how rewarding it can be for an athlete.
“Fed Cup is very special because it provides the opportunity represent your country and to do so as a team. Tennis is such an individual sport and being in a team environment (and winning!) is unlike anything else.”
(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)