The 30-year-old Canadian stepped away from the tour for two years and returned in doubles. (Instagram)
This week’s show features world No. 57 doubles pro Sharon Fichman. The Canadian calls in from Melbourne where she talks about her quarantine experience, the reason she quit the tour for two years, and how she rediscovered her love for competition.
Competing this week at the Australian Open (she and Giuliana Olmos upset No. 5 seeds Hao-ching Chan and Latisha Chan and are through to the third round), Fichman shares what it has been like traveling Down Under and preparing for a major in unprecedented circumstances. The 30-year-old gives an honest take on what it’s like to be a doubles specialist through all of the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the new normal.
Growing up in Toronto, Fichman was a junior phenom, peaking at No. 5 in the world. She’d turned pro as a teenager, rising as high as No. 77 in 2014. But she began dealing with injuries and setbacks, and ultimately stepped away from the game for two years.
“Do I believe that my ranking could have been higher in singles, I do believe that,” she says. “But I also do believe that if the situation hadn’t unfolded the way that it did in my life, I might have never reached that. I accept that things happen the way they ought to happen, maybe not the way you hoped or planned. “
After getting into coaching and broadcasting, she made a comeback—in only doubles—in 2018. Rising back up the rankings fast, she has claimed two WTA doubles titles in her second career, and has returned to the Grand Slam stage.
Fichman’s career has taken a lot of twists and turns. Everyone can learn from her zen-like, optimistic attitude as she continues to play the game she loves, the way she wants to play it.
“It was a struggle to really kind of find love and peace and happiness in competing,” she says. “I loved training, I liked being on court, but the competition part of it was difficult because of the last couple of years in 2015 and 2016, all the diversity I was going through.
“Doubles is more enjoyable for me in the sense that it just feels kinder on my heart and my soul when I play. I don’t feel like I’m as hard on myself.”
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