Written by: Pierre Lamarche
To read the article on ONcourt, please click here.
***Pierre Lamarche has been an outspoken proponent of Canadian tennis and how the sport should have a major place in the Canadian sport landscape. He believes this lofty ambition can only be achieved through the combination of success on the international professional competitive scene, with the required domestic infrastructure and a true partnership between Tennis Canada and the tennis private sector.
His comments are often taken as critical by those who feel targeted by his questions. His background as a player, coach, and leader [see background] in the sport and coaching industry warrants that his views, which are shared by many others, be given due process by anyone [or organization] who really wants to help Canadian Tennis achieve the proper national status it deserves in the sport community.
He now starts in ONcourt a series of editorials which specifically provides thoughts for reflection on how to make Canada a tennis superpower.***
I have always had a soft spot for Daniel Nestor. First and foremost in the hierarchy of manly priorities, Daniel and I are aligned: we are Montreal Canadiens fans. Once upon a time when I considered myself a tennis player, I used to loath playing someone with a corky left handed serve. When I saw him as a 14 year old scrawny, lanky, laid back leftie, I could imagine the terror his serve could impose on opponents.
I had the opportunity to work for more than five years with Daniel and I have great stories about him which underline the champion, superstar qualities he has displayed over the years. His laid back demeanor hides a ferocious competitive side which was often overlooked at their expense by his opponents. Daniel loves to win at everything. On a rainy day in Mexico for Davis Cup, I beat him at a game of HORSE in the gym on a technicality [net ripped and his shot came back out after going in]. In front of the Mexican journalists I ran out of the gym with my arms raised doing my victory dance. The funniest thing was seeing Daniel running after me, following me in our Canadian team locker room yelling, ranting, raving, insulting, pleading for me to get back to the gym. I knew better, Daniel was a very good basketball player… That tainted win was good enough for me.
I have many great anecdotes about Daniel which show his championship and personal excellence qualities, and possibly, I should write more about them, because Daniel has never received the accolades and recognition he deserves as a player, a world champion and a humanitarian [he has raised over $700,000 through his annual Charity Event]. Daniel has won the Golden Slam [the four Grand Slams and the Olympic Gold] and a total of seven grand slam events. He has won his Slams and Gold with four different partners. On tour he is known as the man, he returns almost as well as he handles his service games. Except for that loss to me in HORSE, I would think he is a Super Hero. Actually he is. Thank you Daniel for over 20 years of excellence.