If you’re a tennis fan, you’ve probably heard of Sharon Fichman. Sharon is a professional tennis player for Canada, with rankings in both singles and doubles categories. Winning her first tournament at the age of six, Sharon has had a highly successful career with many achievements to her name.
After an almost two year hiatus, Sharon returned to the professional circuit in 2018 and began competing again. As Sharon’s exclusive food sponsor, Encore Catering provides vegan menu items to help her achieve her goals.
We sat down with Sharon and spoke to her about her professional career, her experiences on and off the court, and the importance of food for her as an athlete.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? When did you start playing tennis? Where do you train, and where do you compete?
A: I’m born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I first started playing tennis when I was 4 years old. My parents loved tennis so my mom took me to the local tennis club. I brought with me a racquetball racquet I had found in the junk room of our basement condo building and found a tennis ball in the grass somewhere in the park. As my mom went played tennis with her friend, I started playing against a wall with the equipment I found. Within 30 minutes, I had figured out how to keep a rally going. My mom was in shock and rushed me home to tell my father. From there, the rest is history.
I currently train at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club in Toronto with my coach, Simon Bartram. I compete on the WTA Tour and the events take place all around the world, about 10 months out of the year.
Q: Where do you train, and where do you compete?
A: I currently train at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club in Toronto with my coach, Simon Bartram. I compete on the WTA Tour and the events take place all around the world, about 10 months out of the year.
Q: How do you celebrate after you win a match / tournament?
A: I like to go out for dinner and a drink; I’ll usually order something I don’t typically get to enjoy when competing. I like to be around friends that I can let loose and enjoy the evening with. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to really enjoy the amazing moments because they truly are so special.
Q: What’s your favourite part about Toronto’s culture?
A: The food scene! But seriously, the food is amazing. I also love how multicultural the city is. I feel that Canada in general is a role model of a country and I am so proud of that.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your diet? What types of food do you eat every day?
A: I follow a plant based and predominantly gluten free diet. I have a ton of fruits and veggies every day and I love it. I make sure to get enough protein every day with plant-based protein sources and/or plant-based protein supplements. I feel that my body runs best on this nutritional plan. I feel that my inflammation is noticeably reduced, my energy is increased, my immune system is stronger, my recovery time is faster, and my injuries are fewer and further between.
Q: Why is having a balanced diet important to you?
A: I think it’s important to have a variety of foods in your diet in order to give your body all the vitamins and nutrients it could possibly need. My body is my tool to do my job as a professional athlete, so it needs to be in the best shape possible, as often as possible.
Q: Do you think these foods have an impact on your performance on the court?
A: Absolutely. My muscles need to be ready to fire on all cylinders at any moment and nutrition is essential to that. My brain needs to be awake and my mind needs to be sharp. I always say “good nutrition can’t make you win a match, but poor nutrition can certainly make you lose one.”
Q: What is your favourite food to eat the night before a big tournament?
A: It depends. I’m a creature of habit so once I find a meal I enjoy and that sits well with me the next day, I usually stick with it throughout the week. Last week I was having a root vegetable wrap (gluten free) with a side salad and freshly squeezed juice.
Q: What are some of your favourite meals that you’ve gotten from Encore so far?
A: That’s such a tough question! It’s like asking a parent which child is their favourite. Here it goes:
– Vegan Bibimbap
– General Tao Tofu
– Tropical Berry Blast Chia Pudding
– Stuffed Eggplant
– Tofu/Tempeh Pad Thai
– Sweet + Spicy Tofu
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
A: Mango’s! I’m definitely on a mango kick right now. I eat frozen mangos like it’s my job. I can’t buy them often when I’m home because I’ll eat an entire bag as I watch Ugly Delicious for the 98th time on Netflix.
As Sharon continues smashing it on the court, Encore continues serving up fine vegan dishes to help fuel her success. Stay tuned to our social channels to see our support for Sharon, and follow Sharon directly at @shazzzzy. To see some of the vegan menu items we provide, check out our Vegan Menu online today.