Friday, May 15, 2015


Rachel Gould and Ira Sherman have launched the Progressive Tennis League.  Inspired by a Tennis Canada workshop they attended these young tennis professionals have been able to very quickly develop a year round presence in introducing young tennis players to the sport of tennis by having them involved in a red ball league.  Ontario Tennis caught up with Rachel and Ira recently for an interview shown in this video.

An article and tips on how to apply the Long Term Athlete Development model FUNdamentals stage based on Rachel and Ira's experience can be seen in the Spring issue of Ontario Tennis - coming soon.


Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association was honoured on Sunday May 3rd by being inducted into the Welland Sports Wall of Fame.

Stacey had moved to Welland at age 10 with her mother  and started her career in tennis at a very early age on the red clay courts at Welland Tennis Club under the tutelage and mentorship of Dutchy Doerr. Her first “job” was cleaning the courts and her reward a quarter or a soda. She also learned to play tennis at the club which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary (See Ontario Tennis Fall 2013) and continued to work part-time as an assistant instructor.  It was with the support of Dutchy that Allastair first came into contact with the world of international professional tennis in her summer job as a runner with IMG Canada at the Canadian Open.

After graduating, Stacey worked at the OTA for 4 years before joining Tennis Canada in a sports marketing role, where she was not only responsible for securing sponsorship deals with companies like Rogers and Rexall, but also served as Tournament Director, playing a major role in the operation of the tournament. In 2006 she joined the Women’s Tennis Association as President and was promoted to her current position in 2009.  She considers securing equal prize money for women at the French Open and Wimbledon and  a $500 milion television deal for women’s tennis to be two of the highlights of her career.

Although Stacey now operates on the international sports stage and has even been inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame, she still maintains a strong affection and connection to the Welland Tennis Club and the people there who helped her develop a love of tennis and dreams of a career in the sport.
Al Dicenso,  Allaster’s former mixed doubles partner, who nominated her for induction in Welland’s sports shrine commented, “For a small-town girl from the Rose City to head all of women’s tennis is a phenomenal achievement.”  “What she lacked in size she made up for in heart. She was always a tremendous worker,” he added .
Stacey responded , “I am the only female in the world leading a global sport. I was a kid, from a small club, from a small town. Anything is possible if you give 110% of yourself to your goals and your dreams. Ultimately, you will have coaches who will support you. However, your success is 100% dependent upon you. Own your success, own your destiny and dream big.”

Thanks go to Tady Saczkowski of Welland Tennis Club for the photo and alerting us to this story.  


There seems to be a trend.....more and more women tennis players are combining their love of tennis and their enjoyment of the social aspects of playing on a team by taking group tennis vacations. Early in May a group of ladies from Ontario Racquet Club went to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to play in a team event organized by a group who provide team competitive opportunities for women over 45 called Meet Play Love Tennis ( ).  This group of ladies under the name The Eh Team (see photo) took the top honours in the 3.5 event as the only Canadian Team and judging by this photo the group will return next year.

Amr Shagara has been running tennis camp and tourism trips with rave reviews for several years. He has taken groups to Egypt, Turkey and Jordan in the past but now is running regular trips to Cuba. Check out his ad in our classified section. Or go to the Can World Sports Travel web site or contact Amr directly at or 416.732.3272 for more information.

Head Professional at the Cutten Club, Giulio Morelli, is also an organizer of trips which appeal to the tennis player cum tourist.  He is organizing a tennis camp in Rome, Italy in June which promises not only three hours of on court instruction each day, but daily sightseeing trips of Rome and cooking classes as well as a little beach time and fine dining. (For more information you can contact Giulio at or 416-697-4890)  

And of course closer to home we should also mention Tennis Access Vacations www.tennisaccesscom who have been running tennis tournament and vacation trips to Hilton Head annually for more than 10 years now and who also offer vacations to the U.S. Open and in Myrtle Beach and have now added Mont Tremblant. You can follow them on Facebook too.  


Your Passport to Individual Club Member Benefits

Did you get your Club OTA member card yet?  When your club joins the OTA, the club executive get a supply of these cards which identify the OTA club of which you are a member and a unique personal identification code.  Some clubs are using these cards instead of shoe tags to prove membership.....others distribute cards to members at registration or at the club house, so if you registered online or paid by mail you may have to pick up your card at your club.........and yes, for those of you who are tied to your smart phones, very soon there’ll be an app for that!

So hopefully now you have your card. Next you need to go to web site scroll down the home page until you find the image of the card and register yourself online.  There you will find a list of offers for you to use as you choose.  There will be discounts on Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment tickets (for Toronto F.C. and Raptors), there will be special OTA member offers for Rogers Cup tickets and there will a discount offer from Merchant of Tennis and other OTA sponsors and there will be several contests for you to enter and become the lucky winner of merchandise and OTA wear.

If your club so chooses it can also work with local merchants and service providers to use the Club OTA card for identification for benefits and discounts as a form of sponsorship. 

OTA Member Appreciation Day at the Merchant of Tennis is coming on Saturday May 30th  this year at both the Bayview Ave and Oakville locations. Why not use your Club OTA card to get rapid service and obtain your goody bag without having to fill out a form.

The first deals for this year are being added to the web site on May 18th. Make sure you get your card and register soon to take advantage and encourage your club friends to use their cards and to subscribe to SPIN. The more people who use the card, the better the offers the OTA will be able to negotiate for you. 


Under 12 Ontario Junior Team Tennis Championships

The U12 Ontario Junior Team Championships were hosted by ACE Tennis at Cedar Springs Health, Racquet and Sportsclub in Burlington, Ontario early in May. A total of 12 teams competed; 4 teams from ACE Burlington, 2 teams from ACE Toronto Tennis City, 2 teams from TTA - Toronto Tennis Academy, 1 team from Tennis Alberta and 3 mixed teams.  The players exhibited great tennis and competition, accompanied by overwhelming support from teammates, coaches and parents. 

ACE Burlington Team #1, coached by Brandon Alguire came out on top (see photo), with a close second place finish by the ACE TTC Team #1, coached by Craig Mercer. In third place was TTA Team #1, coached by Jon Kudjerski, followed by Tennis Alberta in fourth place, coached by Josh Sandwell. 

Canadian Teams Advance to World Finals

Thanks to second-place finishes across the board in the North/Central America and Caribbean qualifying tournament in Boca Raton, Florida, Canada has earned spots in the finals of the U14 World Junior Tennis Championships and U16 Junior Davis and the U16 Junior Federation Cups. Canada finished second to the United States in all four round-robin tournaments..
In the U14 event Canada was represented by Alex-Antoine Marquis of Quebec, Luka Vukovic of B.C. and Nick Lagaev of Ontario in the  boys’ event and Viktoriya Tabunshchyk of Ontario, Ariana Arseneault of Ontario and Leyla Fernandez of Quebec in the girls event (see photo with coach Dean Coburn above).
In the junior Davis Cup Team Canada was Denis Shapovalov of Ontario, Benjamin Sigouin of B.C. and Jack Mingjie Lin of Ontario (see photo L to R from when this team played U14 below). Charlotte Robillard-Millette of Quebec, Katherine Sebov and Vanessa Wong, both from Ontario, made up the Junior Federation Cup team members.

The World Junior Tennis finals will take place in Prostejov, Czech Republic in August. The Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals will be held September 29 – October 4 in Madrid. Both events are considered the world team championships for their age groups. Last year, the Canadian U14 team finished in second place.
Katarina Kopcalic Wins in Tunisia

Seventeen year old Canadian Katarina Kopcalic (see photo with her father and the trophy) captured her first ITF junior singles title at a Grade 3 event in Tunisia.
Seeded eighth in the draw, Kopcalic took out the tournament’s first, and fourth seeds on her way to the final and beat third-seeded Zani Barnard of South Africa 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-1 to take the trophy.
Bianca Andreescu Reaches Final in France
At  Beaulieu-sur-Mer in the south of Frace, Bianca Andreescu faced fellow Canadian Charlotte Robillard-Millette in the final of the grade 1 event. Bianca, who won the U16 Orange Bowl title in December, wasn’t able to clinch the title this time but continues to pile up some great results.