Timea Bacsinszky, world No. 15 and recent French Open semifinalist, spoke those words to the BBC earlier this year. She was talking about her father, Igor.

The 26-year-old from Switzerland nearly quit tennis two years ago to work in a hotel after years of struggling with her overbearing father, who Bacsinszky has called a “control freak.”

“I have been a kid of like a syndrome of pushy parents,” Bacsinszky told TENNIS.com at Indian Wells. “It’s happening a lot, especially in tennis, because—especially in women’s tennis, because for sure, as a woman, as a young girl, you can never go against the power of the dad.”

Bacsinszky is only the most recent case study in tennis parenting gone horribly wrong. Jelena Dokic, Mary Pierce, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Jennifer Capriati and Steffi Graf are just a few of the players who have publicly dealt with over-involved parents.

Peter Graf was labeled “Papa Merciless” by the media for the control he had over his daughter and her career. Stefano Capriati was notorious for pushing his daughter into the spotlight at just 13. Lucic-Baroni, who upset Simona Halep at the French Open, survived a roller coaster career dealing with a physically abusive father.

"Beatings ... there have been more of them than anyone can imagine,'' Lucic, then just 16, told a Zagreb newspaper, Slobodna Dalmacija. "Sometimes it was because of the lost game, in other cases for the lost set or badly played trainings. I don't want to even say what happened after the matches I lost.''


Back from the Brink: Timea Bacsinszky rediscovers her passion for tennis

Back from the Brink: Timea Bacsinszky rediscovers her passion for tennis

Yet all of these players have had stellar careers despite their struggles—in part, of course, because of the influences of their pushy parents. Bacsinszky’s father was the driving force behind her game from a very young age. He went way too far, but she may not be where she is right now without some kind of motivation.

There’s obviously a line between being motivational and pushy, and too often that line is crossed. Nothing is harder to see than a father yelling at his child over a lost match, or a child trying to win to make his or her mother happy.

But we can take something positive away from Bacsinszky’s struggle. After having it forced on her for so long, she needed to find the motivation from within—something she’s obviously been able to do. “There is always this touch of spontaneity,” she told Grantland during the French Open. “Take that drop shot. It’s a small way of taking control, of saying, ‘Here I am. Watch me now.’”

For professional tennis players, finding the motivation and passion to play, especially at a high level, is a lot tougher than it looks. Bacsinszky’s stint away from tennis came in her early 20s, exactly when most young adults try to find purpose and strive to build a life of their own.

Sitting at career-high ranking, it’s safe to say that Bacsinszky has found the life she wants to lead.

Follow Nina on Twitter at @NinaPantic1.