Ontario Tennis

Ontario Tennis 2017/2018 | Summer 2017

Tennis, Ontario

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ADIL SHAMASDIN representing Canada in doubles. Vasek and I had played before, and we had a good energy going into that match...and again, the home crowd... that was very special for me. I was nervous in the beginning, but Vasek helped me out and we won. OT: How different was that experience for you from playing against Belgium? AS: Big, big difference. Belgium was my first time playing for Canada. The court surface wasn't all that comfortable for me. Super slow clay, rainy conditions, windy. On paper I thought that Daniel and I were a better team, but when we started the match, it was us who were the weaker team. It was a very tough loss for me to swallow, and I wasn't sure whether I would have another chance to play Davis Cup. And I didn't play against France in Guadeloupe, so I thought that this tie against Belgium was my only chance and I blew it. So, playing against Chile I came to the tie with my own core values knowing exactly what I wanted out of practice sessions and how I wanted to play. Before that, in previous ties, I was just "getting orders" and that was probably because for the longest time I was a hitting partner, so I had to cater to others. I decided that playing against Chile would be different. I was going to play my game, and I believed it was my time to do so. So even if I was going to lose, I would lose on my own terms. I've made that decision within myself because that feeling that I got after playing Belgium wasn't good at all! It wasn't because we lost it, but how we lost it. So against Chile I wanted to come out and play a different game. My own game. I felt more confident, and I told the coaching team ahead of time how I wanted to set up practices and what I wanted from that tie. They sensed my confidence and everything worked well... OT: Then again it was a bit of a rough patch for you, some losses, and all of a sudden you won four tournaments in five weeks, and you've done all that playing with four different partners. What's your secret to turning things around in such a dramatic fashion? AS: I wish I knew the secret (laughing). The beginning of the year was rough, but the preparation for the season was good, I went to Florida with Jonny and his coach (brother Dave). We also took Tennis Canada fitness coach Dave Lindsay with us. We were working hard for a couple of weeks, then came out to play tournaments and started losing again. It was really tough for both of us, but we we've also had that feeling that we were doing the right thing and that we were losing on our terms. So we kept going, but unfortunately Jonny got injured again....so once again I had to look for around for a partner. It was discouraging. OT: One of the partners this spring was the legendary Leander Paes, one of the best doubles players ever. How did that happen? AS: First of all it was a great experience because I wasn't even planning on playing that week, but if a guy like Paes is asking you to play with him, you just can't say no. I treated that week as a learning experience, because playing with a legend like that is always very special. I've played in the past with Nestor, and now it was Paes. I believe I was his 110th doubles partner, not sure if that was a good or bad thing (laughing) but we made the most out of it and won the tournament. Paes and I spoke after the tournament, and he liked the way I was playing, and told me he would be interested in playing again, so perhaps it will happen sometime this year. You know he might have lost a step or two but he still is a great player. Someone I can learn from. We mixed quite well as a team. OT: So how do you go about winning four tournaments in five weeks, each time playing with different partner? AS: Well, it definitely feels like it is something special, but to be fair there is also a lot of luck involved. But you can create your own luck, those breaks can happen at any time. You simply have to stay with the process and the breaks will come. Winning is also a habit. When you start winning you expect to win, and have that feeling that you can do it. Even playing with different partners, I've had a lot of positive energy that I was trying to pass on to my partners. You just have to believe in yourself, your partner and the process. The guy I was playing with in Wroclaw (Poland) found me on Facebook. I'd never met him, and didn't even know who he was. We actually met for the first time on the elevator at the tournament site. Because he was playing singles, we only had a chance to practice for about 30 minutes before our first round. As strange as this sounds, that actually might have helped us because there were no expectations at all. Doubles is good that way because you cannot control what your partner is going to do, nor what your opponents are going to do. Focus on your game. OT: In Wroclaw there was a moment when you were playing Julian Knowles from Austria with whom you won a tournament just a week before (Bergamo – Italy). Was that difficult for you? AS: Yes, it was tough. He was playing well, and we respect each other. I like playing with him, and actually was hoping to play with him in Wroclaw, but he had previous commitments, so we ended up on opposite sides of the net. OT: What are you enjoying most right now, what are the challenges, and finally your goals for the remainder of the year? AS: I am enjoying the wins when they are happening, no matter at what level of professional tennis. They also make me hungrier to win more, to do better, to be a better player. Even after so many years on the tour I am still learning. And I still have the goal in mind to be a Top 50 player. I'm still chasing it. But I am not obsessed with rankings. If I play well, the results will come. The process will get me there. ONTENNIS.ca | SUMMER 2017 21

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