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Tennis Canada unveils its new structure for high-performance athlete development

May 10, 2021
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada
  • Guillaume Marx and Sylvain Bruneau to assume greater responsibilities as Louis Borfiga retires
  • Two new senior hires for Pipeline and for Performance science to play critical roles in new high-performance structure

Tennis Canada has unveiled the new structure of its high-performance athlete development programs. Under the leadership of Hatem McDadi, Senior Vice-President of High-Performance at Tennis Canada, key positions were identified and created to consolidate the status of Canadian tennis on the world stage. Among the individuals who will play critical roles in the new structure are coaches Guillaume Marx and Sylvain Bruneau, who will assume greater responsibilities as Head of Performance and Head of Women’s Pro and Transition Tennis respectively. As part of his new responsibilities, Marx will oversee the National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers (NTC).

Based on an extensive analysis of the current structure and high-performance athlete development pillars of success, the new plan drawn up by Tennis Canada to support key areas of the player development pathway requires strong leadership coming from those key positions, and most importantly, key partners and staff to work effectively together. In addition to Marx and Bruneau, two new senior positions will be filled in the coming weeks and will bring more depth to the structure : Head of Under 15 Tennis Development (pipeline), who will also serve as the point of contact for key partners, provincial associations, clubs and academies to support their efforts to develop young talent, as well as Head of sport science and medecine (Performance science), a role which will provide cutting edge support to maximize results and optimize health for the entire high-performance system.

This new structure will also include Jocelyn Robichaud who will oversee high-performance coaching development, with a focus on female coaching recruitment, while Janet Petras will become Director of High-Performance Programs and Administration to provide leadership support for administration, link to the competitive structure, policies, and programs. This group will work with a strong team of national coaches, staff and accomplished external partners to drive High Performance development to more historic results.

“We are indebted to Louis Borfiga for all his contributions and leadership over the past 15 years at Tennis Canada,” said Hatem McDadi. “Thanks to his expertise and experience, we were able to implement a system that helped Canadian tennis reach new heights and create a winning culture. Louis provided ample notice of his plans to retire which allowed us to build a strong succession plan. Our sport continues to be more and more competitive and demanding so we need to continually evolve and upgrade. We know that we can’t stand still if we want to continue to be successful. That is why we are building an integrated team of proven leaders, plus the addition of some new expertise that will work with our staff and skilled partners to reach our potetnial as a leading tennis nation.”

“Louis has made a tremendous contribution to Canadian tennis,” affirmed Jennifer Bishop, Chair of the Board of Directors of Tennis Canada. “We are convinced that the new structure unveiled today under the leadership of Hatem McDadi will build on our historical success and ensure we are more than competitive in the ever-evolving world of high-performance tennis. Sport science and sports medicine, as well as the under 15 high-performance development were two areas that we identified as crucial to our future success. We are looking forward to bringing new expertise on board to fill these positions. We are aiming for nothing less than more National Bank Open, Grand Slam, Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles as well as Olympic medals.” 

As Head of Performance, Marx will oversee the National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers (NTC), the regional tennis centres based in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that bring together the best under-14 players in each area and the men’s professional tennis program including Davis Cup and Olympic tennis.

“When I chose to accept Tennis Canada’s offer in 2006, I never could have imagined that my Canadian adventure would last this long,” said Guillaume Marx. “For my family and me, Montréal has certainly become our adopted hometown. Over the past decade, I have been lucky enough to witness the culture shift in Canadian tennis firsthand, and I intend to do everything in my power to ensure we remain just as successful on the global scene. I am very motivated by the idea of taking more responsibilities in high-performance development of our professional players, as well as our next generation. I have a strong team in place and my goal is to strengthen it even further. I am confident that the new structure will enable us to consolidate Canada’s new position in international tennis.”

Sylvain Bruneau, winner of the 2019 Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award, will continue to lead Canada’s women’s program for professionals and transitioning juniors, as well as the Billie Jean King Cup and Olympic programs. He will also pursue his work with Bianca Andreescu. 

“I am very pleased to continue to dedicate myself to women’s tennis development in Canada and contribute to its success,” Bruneau said. “Since I joined Tennis Canada, I have seen a very positive evolution and had the opportunity to work with great athletes. The future is bright, and we have definitely set the bar very high.” 

As Tennis Canada announced in February, Louis Borfiga, former Vice-President of High Performance, will act as an advisor and consultant until he returns to France in September.

“I will leave Canada knowing that the development of Canadian tennis is in very good hands,” said Louis Borfiga. “I had the privilege of working for Hatem McDadi throughout my tenure here. Though he prefers to work out of the limelight, Hatem is a great leader and quiet force for the organization. He works tirelessly to improve Canadian tennis and has proved it once again by creating this new system and entrusting reliable people like Guillaume, Sylvain, Jocelyn and Janet with greater responsibilities.”