July 22, 2024

Open Court


Canadian updates: Polansky has surgery; Bouchard coaching candidate says no

Peter Polansky has been missing in action since a couple of first-round losses in Challenger events in California after the U.S. Open.

Last week, the 26-year-old finally decided to have surgery on his right wrist.

It doesn’t seem to be a Laura Robson-Juan Martin del Potro type of situation – an eternal rehab and an uncertain future. Polansky was told the recovery time for the procedure is only about two months, which puts it to the end of February.

But he will miss the Australian Open qualifying and February tournaments.

“I’ve been struggling with the wrist since the (U.S.) Open. I was in Florida training last week, but it still wasn’t good enough for 100 per cent so I decided to get it worked on,” Polansky told Open Court.

He was trying to play through it in those California events, in Napa and Sacramento, but lost in the first round of singles both times. But it was worth the trip anyway; Polansky was still able to play a good level of doubles with countryman Adil Shamasdin. They won one of the events, and reached the final in another.

But Pospisil shut it down after that, obviously trying the rest-and-rehab route to avoid anything surgical. After testing it out last week, he took the next step.


Michael Mortenson turns down Genie

According to Troels Christenson of Ekstra Bladet (the authority for all things Caroline Wozniacki and Danish tennis), new Genie Bouchard agent Jill Smoller contacted Michael Mortensen, the former coach of Wozniacki, and Li Na, and a former Fed Cup captain, to inquire about his interest in coaching Bouchard full-time in 2015.

Michael Mortenson_new

No, said Mortenson. His plate is already full with a head coaching job, as well as television commentary commitments.

This isn’t just a Twitter rumour or a “he said, he said”. Christenson has direct quotes from Mortenson confirming that Smoller made the approach, and that he had to turn it down even though he said he thought she was an “exciting player.”

Meanwhile, the new season starts in just over a week.


Pospisil will play dubs in Oz; partner TBD

Vasek Pospisil found out that his Wimbledon doubles partner Jack Sock had hip surgery at about the same time as the rest of the tennis planet did (it’s a guy thing).


Coach Frédéric Fontang told Open Court that Pospisil will, indeed, play doubles at the Australian Open. All that remains to be confirmed is who his partner will be.


Canadian Fed Cup camp short on bodies

Canadian girls selfiesA year ago, there was a full house for all or part of Tennis Canada’s women’s training block in Florida at this time of the year.

To name a few: Aleksandra Wozniak, Sharon Fichman, Gabriela Dabrowski, Françoise Abanda, Stéphanie Dubois,.

Genie Bouchard was in and out, as a lot of the Canadian players played practice matches at the Evert USTA Academy in Boca Raton, Florida and Fed Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau did a lot of the arranging.

This year, with injuries, retirements, and Bouchard very much doing her own thing, it was a small class. A little Abanda, a little Fichman, and some kiddies.

Clockwise from top: Carol Zhao (studying at Stanford), Charlotte Robillard-Millette (front and centre taking the selfie), Gloria Liang (a National Tennis Centre member who has used up her junior eligibility, although she never reached the Grand Slam junior level until her final junior event – losing in the second round of qualifying at junior Roland Garros – Liang is playing small pro events) and Katherine Sebov (turning 16 in January, but not in the national program).

Good selfie, though.



Dancevic now a Head case

The 30-year-old’s long association with Wilson is now history.

Frank Dancevic tells Open Court that he will play with a Head racquet in 2015.


He tested out new sticks during the fall season.

With the absence of Peter Polansky, and the fall in the rankings by Filip Peliwo and Spanish-American Steven Diez, Dancevic will be the only Canadian representative on the men’s side.


Oz Open qualies – women

No surprise, the rehabbing Aleksandra Wozniak won’t be playing the qualifying at the Australian Open next month.

Wozniak’s rehab from shoulder surgery is going to be a lengthy one – you shouldn’t even think about seeing her until at least the French Open, at the earliest. And that’s if all goes well.


But there should be three Canadians in the women’s singles qualifying: Sharon Fichman (whose ranking has dropped from last summer, when she was straight into majors after knee surgery), Gabriela Dabrowski and, hopefully, Heidi El Tabakh.

El Tabakh’s season stumbled to a close after yet another recurrence of her seemingly chronic quad issues.

Dabrowski is already in Australia. It’s not nearly as glamorous as the tennis life seems to be (and believe me, we can relate to this tweet on every level):

Dabrowski will be teaming up with Polish veteran Alicja Rosolska again in 2015, a player she has huge respect for.

Christmas adventures #stkilda #dubspartners #freetrams

A photo posted by Gaby (@gabydabrowski) on

The Canadian had a few doubts about the partnership in the middle of the summer – especially when the pair lost easily in the first round in Cincinnati to Makarova and Vesnina – after Dabrowski and Shahar Pe’er of Israel had been a lot more competitive against them the previous week at the Rogers Cup.

But the pair knocked off former Wimbledon finalists Dellacqua and Barty of Australia in the first round at the U.S. Open, and reached the third round. They then got to the semi-finals at the WTA event in Linz.


The 22-year-old finished off her 2014 season on a high – winning the $50K Toronto Challenger in singles (and reaching the doubles final). Dabrowski and Georgian-American Anna Tatishvili won the doubles at Dabrowski’s final tournament of 2014, a $50K event at Captiva Island, Florida.

Dabrowski squeaked into the Brisbane qualifying in singles, to start her season. Sharon Fichman is in the qualifying in Auckland, New Zealand, where she won her maiden WTA Tour doubles title with American Maria Sanchez last year.


Abanda in Oz Open qualifying

The 17-year-old is making the long, long trip Down Under, and it potentially could be a very quick trip. Or not.

Francoise Abanda-Aug24 - 11_new

With a ranking for entry purposes in the high 190s, Françoise Abanda likely is out of luck as far as making the cut for the very popular Australian Open warmup events. To give you an idea, Dabrowski is currently the last player into the qualifying at Brisbane, and her ranking was more than 20 spots higher than Abanda’s at the cutoff dates.

Her junior career is reportedly officially history. So Abanda will head down to play the Australian Open qualifying with the hope that things will go as well as they did in New York for the U.S. Open, where she blazed through three rounds with hardly a hiccup to make the main draw of her first Grand Slam tournament.

If not, she could make the long trip for one match, or two, or three, and be done.

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