It didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting to convince Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse to agree to be the spokesperson for Rogers Cup 2017.
The actress, who stars in the television series Les pays d’en haut and Le chalet and in feature films, including Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Starbuck, knows Uniprix Stadium well. She played here as a youngster and in Rogers Cup celebrity matches and watched tennis as a fan.
“I’ve known Valérie [Tétreault, regional manager of communications and media relations at Tennis Canada] for several years. She saw me play here at the tennis club,” explained Labrosse. “She played with my brothers. I made the Québec tennis team here at Uniprix Stadium. So, when they approached me, it was just an issue of whether I had time. Because I was definitely interested.”
Before she carved out a career for herself on the big and small screens, the 25-year-old actress played competitive tennis. As a teenager, she even qualified for the Canadian championships and posted wins against Eugenie Bouchard.
Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse says that tennis taught her many lessons that she still uses today in her personal and professional life: “It’s really about discipline. I learned to accept rejection and defeat and be responsible for my own fate, just like in professional sports. There really are a lot of parallels.”
But there came a time when Sarah-Jeanne had to choose between a career in sports and a career in acting.
“It was after high school,” she said. “Should I keep playing tennis? Should I go to an American university? In the end, I decided to go to Dawson College in film because I wanted to keep acting. I also had an injury, so it was a combination of reasons. But I never really imagined a career on the pro tour.”
As far back as she can remember, she has only missed one edition of Rogers Cup: it was two years ago when she was filming in France. Otherwise, she spends at least one day at the tournament whenever her schedule permits.
“I remember when I was 11 or 12, I came to see Maria Sharapova,” she remembered. “She didn’t do particularly well but I was such a fan. I took a photo with her and was freaking out! I was really into the women’s edition, especially when I was in tennis. I loved seeing them play.”
Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse says that she didn’t spend as much time as she would have liked at Rogers Cup this week since she was filming in Trois-Rivières most of the time. But she will be at the tournament all weekend and hopes to encourage the young Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov in as many matches as possible: “Because I played, I can put myself in his shoes. I understand how major this is. He is under so much pressure and he’s managing it well. I can’t wait to see him on the court.”