Student: Thomas Pryzybcien
In his own words: "Personal growth, with regard to tennis and one’s self. No statement better describes my experience with the Noble Tennis School. It is this dual approach to our sport that sets the NTS apart from other high performance academies. The NTS understands that maturing entails more than ranking points. Maturing requires an unfailing dedication of the student and the coach. It is only when this dedication is attained that personal growth and tournament success may proceed. My dedication was instilled through my lead coach Ben Etheve-Meek. Ben, with Tony Roth and all the other teaching staff, taught me that the NTS was more than just tennis. Fitness, training and tournament success were simply part of the maturing process. Growth, maturity, and ultimately humanization, as a function of dedication, are far more important. Therefore, with the help of the NTS I can proudly say that I have grown as an individual. More than developing as a player, the NTS cultivated qualities that will serve me in tennis and beyond—passion and dedication."
Thomas' Tennis Achievements:
-OTA ranking as high as #18
-Provincial championships and national selection tournament competitor
-Two-time back-to-back Ottawa high school division A champion
-Finished #11 at OFSAA in 2012 and 2013.
-NTS Outstanding conduct, effort and achievement Award 2013.
Highlights since high school:
-3 years of research experience at both Toronto General Hospital and SickKids.
-Research published in Clinical Cancer Research
-Trek for Teens Foundation, research and development executive (a youth homelessness awareness charity)
-Graduated from University of Toronto, Honours B.Sc. with High Distinction (2017)
-First year MD student at Wayne State University School of Medicine (class of 2022)
Student: Matthew Sherman
Matt Sherman is a talented athlete who says he was “going nowhere” when the School arrived in Ottawa. He always says his path of success began after a little incident during the first week of training in the School: during a practice session he threw his racquet against the back tarp in rage. From two courts away, Tony Roth called his name, and, gazing at him with great intensity and wagging his finger, said, “no, not here.”
Matt never threw his racquet again, and this was the beginning of a new ethos of dignity, enjoyment and hard work that has led him to a scholarship at the University of Dayton, Ohio, where his high level of play and noble attributes led him to be the first junior ever to be named team captain.
While completing his degree, Matt spent several summers working in the School, where he was much loved by the students. He later undertook a law degree in Australia, and is now a married man, and a practicing lawyer.
Student: Aneil Bhalla
Aneil Bhalla was one of the first players to travel from Ottawa to Kingston for lessons with Tony Roth. This commenced when Aneil was age 11. Later Tony and the School came to Ottawa and the collaboration continued throughout Aneil's junior career, during which he achieved rankings as high as #5 in the province.
Following from his athletic achievements, along with excellent academic results, Aneil achieved his goal of a Division 1 NCAA Scholarship at the University of Hartford. Here he continued his steady progress as a player, along with training with Tony during school breaks. The small boy with great hands and a solid backhand grew into a big-serving, net rushing player with a great variety of shots in his arsenal. While maintaining a 3.90 GPA, Aneil played primarily at the #1 singles and doubles positions throughout his NCAA career and was selected as Captain of the team in his junior year. In his final year, he amassed a 9-5 singles record, which included winning 7 of his last 8 matches.
Aneil was a three-time selection to the America East Conference All-Academic Team, which recognizes both classroom and on-court contributions. In addition, he was selected four times as an intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete. In his final year, he was selected to the America East All-Conference Singles Team, and was awarded the S. Edward Weinswig Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award and the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Excellence in Science Award.
In his own words: "One of the most unique aspects of the Noble Tennis School is their approach to helping students achieve their goals and reach their full potential. The School places a strong emphasis on cultivating the qualities which are essential not only to becoming a high performance athlete, but those which are fundamental to the growth of the individual. By instilling and nurturing these attributes in players, progress and results no longer become something that is forced by external influences, but rather a natural consequence of the development process. By the Noble Tennis School making personal athletic goals and achievements a means to an end, rather than an end in itself, process-orientation rather than results-orientation occurs, athlete burn-out is avoided, and enthusiasm is found in day-to-day commitments."
Update (2018): Dr. Aneil Bhalla, MD is a PGY-2 Resident Physician at Yale University's Yale-Waterbury Internal Medicine Residency Program, Yale New Haven Medical Center. Dr. Bhalla obtained his medical education from the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program at Northumbria University/St. George’s University, a program which emphasizes enhancing global health through providing medical care to underdeveloped regions of the world. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Dr. Bhalla completed his clinical training in New York City, primarily at New York University Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.
Since starting his residency in June 2017, Dr. Bhalla has been selected to the Yale University Resident and Fellow Senate, the Yale University Graduate Medical Education Committee, the Yale New Haven Hospital Wellness Committee, and the Yale New Haven Hospital Young Physician Leadership Curriculum. Through involvement in these committees, Dr. Bhalla aspires to promote the Senate’s core values of service to others, a collaborative culture, and a supportive learning climate, both within and outside of the Yale Medical Community.
Student: Maria Klokotzky
Maria was ‘identified’ as a young player with professional potential in Germany. Arriving with her family in Canada, they were initially disheartened with what they found, to such an
extent that Maria actually quit tennis at one point. Having attended a regional training camp in Kingston with Tony Roth and Ben Etheve-Meek, Maria’s father said, almost with tears of joy, ‘I have not seen training like this since Germany.’ When the School came to Ottawa Maria joined its ‘Master-Class’ program, and went on to win the U18 Provincials and finish 6th at the Nationals. She was eagerly sought out by NCAA schools, and justified the hopes of her team in Louisville, Kentucky, when she became the first freshman to win a major regional competition. She then attended school in Fresno, California, where, in 2007-8, she won the ‘super-nationals’ doubles title and went on to the NCAA national championships. Maria is now a police officer, but she still works with Tony and Ben when she returns to Ottawa for holidays.
In her own words:
“Having come from Europe, where the training was outstanding, I was disappointed when I saw the level of coaching in Canada, until I met Tony Roth. He re-ignited my love for tennis. He started working with me back at step one. There were tough times, but all I would have to do is look to my right and there was Tony, encouraging me and never giving up on me. This always kept me going, and always made me want to achieve the next level of tennis.
Also, being part of the Noble Tennis School gave me the opportunity to train with some of the best players in Ontario. On the side at these practices you would always have a coach behind you, feeding you more and more knowledge, teaching you all about discipline and hard work. I came back day after day to Master-Class, knowing that I would walk away a better and smarter player.
Now, having been at University and having been involved in an extremely competitive environment there, when I’m home I come back to the Noble Tennis School. This is where I can become the best I can be; on court with the number one coach in the nation, Tony Roth!”
Student: Jason Smits
Jason harks back to the days when the School was located in Kingston, Ontario. His story is all about the rule of quality over quantity.
Living in Trenton, where there are no indoor courts, meant driving two hours per day for his training. He came to Kingston 2-3 times per week and, working strictly with Tony Roth and Ben Etheve-Meek, and playing lots of tournaments, this talented and famously calm young man achieved a ranking inside the top 10 in Canada and a full scholarship with the University of Utah, a top 50 NCAA Division 1 team.