BTT: Tell us about your favorite moment on a tennis court?
AC: Both as a player and now as a coach the practice sessions after everyone has gone home and you’re still out there it’s a powerful feeling when you know in that moment you’re doing more than most
BTT: What was tour life like, can you share a few insights?
AC: It was short-lived and tough. No coach very little money – I got what I wanted out of the situation during that time but I look back and definitely have regrets.
BTT: Was traveling something you enjoyed or was it hard to be away from home?
AC: Travelling was both for me. Ultimately when it started to become something I didn’t enjoy then things started to spiral. Looking back I wish I had had a greater appreciation for the opportunity and understood regardless of results it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel the world- I mean look at our current situation. A generation of players may miss out on the opportunity to see the world as a player because of the pandemic.
BTT: Are you still friendly with your tour mates?
AC: Yes. A lot of them work in tennis and it’s great. I am closer to my friends from college however, it’s a team and there are closer bonds that are formed.
BTT: Was life after tennis something you thought about doing your career?
AC: Always. I really love the sport always have. In my current role I am able to represent my country as a coach and role model to younger generations of players and coaches. It’s a great honour.
BTT: What was the retirement process like for you?
AC: Easy. I quit one day and started coaching the next. The hard part has been over time understanding that in a lot of respects it’s not about your level of play but you’re determined to keep going – pro tennis is a war of attrition, back then I thought because I wasn’t winning futures at 22 I couldn’t make it
BTT: How important do you think it is for current players to plan for a career beyond tennis?
AC: It’s essential. However, the lessons of pursuing something As far as you can is also an amazing teacher in the discipline and determination of life. In this day and age everything is online learning is everywhere so i think a balance can be struck and planning can take place
BTT: Once off the tour did you feel any sense of loss (community/friends)
AC: Tennis is a small world. Diving into coaching you’re always around people you know and have shared experiences with however, there is a sense of change in that you’re no longer playing and competing.
BTT: What are some of the life lessons tennis taught you?
AC: Being good at something takes determination and perseverance. No body is born with that. The people you surround yourself with are incredible important. The most important is we are all products of the environment we grow up in and choose for ourselves. If you want to be great at something you need to get your immediate environment right and primed for greatness.