Thursday, November 13, 2014


Gaby (Gabriela) Dabrowski of Ottawa captured her first career professional singles title on November 2nd at the Tevlin Challenger. She defeated American Maria Sanchez 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7) in a nail-biting final in which she managed to claw her way back from a deficit several times.

In the first set, Gaby was down a break at 2-4 but managed to win four games in a row to take the first set. After losing the second set, Gaby found her game at 2-5 down in the third, again putting together a four-game winning streak. Unable to take the fifth game in a row, the third set was decided by a tiebreaker. Gaby found herself down 2-5 in the tiebreaker and overcame a match point against her to take the title.

“I struggled through the whole match finding my range,” Dabrowski said. “I wouldn’t even say that I eventually found it, but some shots I hit were finally more penetrating and deeper so she wasn’t able to come into the net as much. Everyone says take it one point at a time, and that’s really what I did. Being able to come back in the third set, it proves to me that I can come back in those situations. I felt like I had chances all over the place, and I was just missing a lot of them so although I was down 5-2 I felt like if I kept pushing I could get it back and luckily I did.”

“It’s very special that my first title is in Canada,” she said. “That means a lot to me. I’ve played this tournament so many years and everybody has been so good to me that winning it here is way cooler than winning it in any other country. I just hope I can do it again. I have so much to work on still, and I feel like I didn’t even come close to playing my best tennis this week. I think that’s a positive that I was able to win a lot of matches without even feeling 100 per cent.”

Winning a first title can be elusive and prove how much of winning at tennis depends on both confidence and mental strength. Gaby had lost four professional singles finals prior to this breakthrough. But Gaby is no stranger to winning big singles titles. In 2006 she was the first Canadian to win Les Petits As, a world class under 14 event played in France and in 2009 she won the Junior Orange Bowl, the first Canadian to so since Carling Bassett-Seguso won that world championship in 1982.

Gabriela and her partner Tatjana Maria also faced Maria Sanchez and her partner Taylor Townsend in the doubles event at the Tevlin Challenger. It was another hard fought match in which the Canadian- German duo lost 15-13 in the super tiebreaker.

Gaby, this time partnered with Anna Tatishuli, was able able to extract a little revenge for that loss in Captiva Island the next weekend (Nov 9th). Gaby gained her 12th professional doubles win by beating Maria Sanchez and Asia Muhammad in straight sets.

The Tevlin Challenger has been a great opportunity for our Canadian Girls to gain valuable experience. It was at this event that Gaby, partnered with Sharon Fichman of Toronto, won her first two doubles titles in 2007 and 2010. Gaby and Sharon are members of Canada’s Federation Cup squad. Last year they reached the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup by taking out the number one seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Photo courtesy Peter Figura.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Ontario's Brayden Schnur captured the 2014 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate men's singles championship on Nov 9 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows, New York. 

Featuring a 32-player singles draw comprised of the best collegiate tennis players from across the U.S., Schnur, who is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, came out on top with a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory over Gonzales Austin from Vanderbilt.

Currently ranked seventh nationally in NCAA Division 1 tennis, Schnur is from Pickering, Ontario and is a former member of Tennis Canada's full-time national training centre in Montreal.

Brayden participated in a Q and A session with OTA Club Presidents when he was playing at the Rogers Cup earlier this year. To see the video of his session click on Brayden Q and A 


Congratulations to the OTA’s sponsor/partner The Merchant of Tennis on being named Canada’s favourite small business as part of a national contest held by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Interac between October 6th and 18th. More than 700 business were nominated.

The Merchant of Tennis is a tennis specialty retailer with stores in Toronto and Oakville, but which has a significant on-line presence for sales through The Merchant of Tennis is the official retailer of Kids Tennis equipment for Tennis Canada and has a significant retail presence at the Rogers Cup in Toronto each year. The Merchant of Tennis has a large following on Facebook and Twitter and go the extra mile to make sure their followers know about special promotions and contests, but are also well informed on tennis trivia and history as well as what is happening on the professional circuits.

CFIB president Dan Kelly presented the award to The Merchant of Tennis business owners Pamela and Rob Horwood last week (see photo). The title of Canada’s Favourite Small Business comes along with a professionally produced ad campaign sponsored by Interac and developed by Toronto-based advertising agency Zulu Alpha Kilo. Merchant of Tennis received a significant financial award along with the kudos.
“There are thousands of unique small businesses across Canada, like Merchant of Tennis, that are woven into the fabric of their communities, and into the hearts and minds of their customers,” said Kelly.

Loyal customers have only great things to say about Merchant of Tennis: “They’ve got stuff the big stores don’t,” said one customer. “(That’s why) I only trust smallbiz to understand customers.” Others say it’s not only the equipment and prices that make Merchant of Tennis great, it’s the “friendly and knowledgeable staff who have been there at every step and shoe size through (their) son’s tennis growth.”

“We are thrilled to be named Canada’s Favourite Small Business,” said Pam Horwood, CEO of Merchant of Tennis."The #MyFavSmallBiz contest was an outstanding opportunity to engage with our existing clients, reach new audiences and showcase what we do. It gave small companies like ours a bigger voice in a highly competitive national market. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers who voted for us. We're honoured to have your continued support."

Consumers also had a piece of the pie to win during the contest. In total, there were 26 consumer winners, representing six different provinces, who went home with a prize of $500 each.


The Champions Under 9 Tournament was played at Rexall Centre in Toronto Nov 7 to 9 this year. Rather than have regional play downs, eligible players were able to get direct entry into the event and as a result 109 players took part in this event more than 50% than those who played in the inaugural event. Players came from all parts of the province including places as far afield as Thunder Bay for the opportunity to compete in the event. The initial part of the competition consisted of round robin play, with top performers going through to a knock out draw with finals being played on Sunday. The two winners, one boy and one girl, will each receive $6,000 of coaching from their pro over the next two years, with the finalists receiving a similar grant but for $4,000.

Stefan Simeunovic of Oakville and Victoria Mboko of Burlington were the champions. While Adrian Smith of Barrie and Madison Lee of Mississauga took finalists’ honours. Stefan participated in the event last year after winning the West Central region play down and a second Stefan Simeunovic of Niagara also qualified for the event in the South West region. It was the other Stefan Simeunovic who won the Champions in 2013. Apparently the boys father’s both have the same name too (Mlad) – quite a coincidence!.

The Champions is the brainchild of Murray Rubin, a life-long tennis enthusiast and member of York Racquets Club in Toronto. Murray and his wife Roda generously support this event both financially and with their presence with the goal of helping to produce a world champion.

Pictured here left to right are: Alexandru Filoti (participation award), Roda Rubin, Rebecca Prediou (Sportsmanship award), Sava Uncianschi (Sportsmanship award), Adrian Smith (Boys’ finalist), Stefan Simeunovic (Boys’ champion), Victoria Mboko (Girls’ champion), Madison Lee (Girls’ finalist) and Murray Rubin.

Photographer Clive Cohen took lots of pictures of the players over the weekend . These are organized by player name and playing time on his website.To check these out and to purchase his photos, please visit

For more information on the tournament please visit


The ITF Super Senior World Team and Individual Championships were held at Club Ali Bey near Antalya, Turkey in October. With more than 60 courts this resort can accommodate all the events in a first class setting and the beautiful red clay obviously suits the players from Ontario.

In team competition, the Canadian Over 80 women’s team of Muffie Grieve, Rosemary Asch (Montreal), Joyce Cutts and Joan Bradich won the Doris Hart Cup for the fourth consecutive year, showing that our players, like wine, get better with age.

In the individual competition, Inge Weber (see photo) won the gold medal in Over -75 singles, with a win in the final over Roz King of the USA, 6-1, 3-4 ret. Muffie Grieve came home with two world championship titles in over 80 doubles . She won ladies doubles with Jackie Zylstra of South Africa and mixed doubles with Max Byrne of Australia. Muffie Grieve looked as though she might be on her way to a third world singles title too but was stopped in the Semi-finals in a very tight match against Ann Fotheringham of Australia. After losing the first set 5-7, Muffie came back to win the second set 6-1 and then lost 10-7 in the super tiebreaker.

In men’s Over 60 doubles, Keith Porter (formerly of Toronto) and Jim Cameron of Ottawa were able to successfully defend their world championship title, but without the satisfaction of actually playing the championship match. Torrential rain hit the site on both the Friday and Saturday of individual competition. Even when you have that many courts, it’s no help when they are under water and you have a few rounds to play. They won the final in a walkover against Thomas Emmrich and Dan Nemes of Germany, who had reached the final with a walkover against the number 1 seeds Buchenrode and Hellmonseder of Austria.

For more details on these events please go to