Thursday, September 17, 2015


Wild Card to Runner-Up in Gatineau

Story and Photo by Gavin Murphy

Bianca Vanessa Andreescu entered the 2015 Gatineau National Bank Challenger tennis tournament as a wild card on July 28 and left as runner-up on August 2. The 15 year old from Mississauga played some of her best tennis ever en route to the final of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Pro Circuit tournament before losing to top seed Alexa Glash of the United States 6-4, 6-3.

Prior to the finals the right-handed Andreescu, coached by former French professional player Nathalie Tauziat, was undefeated at the pro level after winning four straight matches in Gatineau. She became the second Canadian to reach the Gatineau finals following Fran├žoise Abanda of Montreal who was runner up in 2014’s inaugural tournament. Although losing to 25 year old Glash, ranked 145 in the world as of August 2015, Andreescu had an impressive run in Gatineau and earned her first 30 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking points.

The US$25,000 challenger tournament is played outdoors on the hard courts at Parc de I’ile in Gatineau, Quebec, across the Ottawa River from the nation’s capital. The official ball is the Wilson US Open Regular Duty.

The ITF, based in London England, is the governing body of world tennis and the ITF women’s Pro Circuit provides entry level tournaments enabling players to reach the WTA tour. The circuit annually features some 500+ tournaments in 65 countries worldwide and currently has six prize money levels: US$10,000, US$15,000, US$25,000, US$50,000, US$75,000 and US$100,000. The WTA singles ranking list released at the end of 2014 showed that all but two players had, at some point in their career, competed on the ITF Pro Circuit.

Player Profile:

Home town: Mississauga     Club: Tennis Canada NTC   Style: Right Handed (Two-handed backhand)

Bio: Bianca is in the NTC program at the Aviva Centre and is trained by Tennis Canada's coaches.  She is 15 years old and competes in the OTA and National U16 and U18 divisions. This summer Bianca won the U18 national championship in singles and doubles. Highlights of her young career include winning the U16 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in girls singles. She is currently ranked #1 provincially in U16 and U18. She is ranked #2 and #3 in National rankings for U16 and U18 respectively.


The ILTC of Canada celebrated its 50th year of existence by hosting a team doubles tournament at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club Sept 1-4.

Teams from the International Lawn Tennis Clubs of Austria, Barbados, Germany, Uruguay and USA came to the event. More than 35 Canadian members also played in the competition. Members came from as far as Vancouver and Halifax to participate.  Blessed with excellent weather, if a little on the warm side, there was lots of tennis played in a complex schedule that not only gave the opportunity for all the foreign visitors a chance to play morning and afternoon, but also tried to make the matches as balanced as possible. A total of 70 matches were played in two and a half days with three points being awarded for each match. The winning team was determined by average points per match earned as teams had different numbers of players.  The Austrian team were the winners and the German team came second.

Although the tennis was the primary reason for the event, the visitors were also treated to a full social schedule with a formal dinner on Wednesday evening, a cruise on the lake on Thursday afternoon and a trip to Niagara Falls and a winery on the last day. All the participants were very appreciative of the excellent and generous hospitality at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, in particular the lunches on the balcony, the special dinner and the courts which were in great shape throughout the event. A great time was had by all!

Pictured here are the Uruguayan team. The ladies on the team Tati Ruiz (crouching) and Fiorella Bonicelli (right) were dominant among the ladies and all the competitors and spectators were amazed at the skill and grace of Fiorella who had won the French Open ladies doubles (with Gail Sheriff) in 1976 and mixed doubles (with Thomaz Koch) in 1975 when she was living in France and competing professionally.

The International Lawn Tennis Club was founded in 1924 by A. Wallis Myers in England. The French Club was the next to be formed in 1929. The aims of the club are nicely captured in their motto, “Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean”. For more information you can check out . There are currently clubs in 40 countries. To be eligible for membership, players must have achieved a significant national ranking and have represented their country internationally.  More photos of the event can be found at ILTC50photos


Two young Canadians Denis Shapovalov, of Ontario, aged 16 (see photo right) and Felix Auger-Aliassime of Quebec, survived a three hour rain delay during their boys doubles final at the US Open. They had won the first set and were down in the second when they stopped playing. Luckily they were able to pull things together to take the second set in a tie-breaker to take the coveted title, beating Brandon Holt and Riley Smith of the USA.
Stephanie Myles of put together this slide show to give everyone a taste of their match. Great play guysDenisandFelixwingrandslamdoubles
Denis had also won the Under 18 national singles and doubles titles just a couple of weeks before. He beat Felix in the boys singles final.

Ontario Players at Junior Nationals

Junior nationals were played over three weeks this year. The under 18s played at Ontario Racquet Club August 14 to 19, the under 12s played at Tennis Tremblant August 19 to 25, the under 16s played at Gatineau Tennis Club August 21 to 26 and the under 14s played at Tennis Tremblant Aug 27 to Sep 2. Eleven of the sixteen singles finalists at junior nationals were from Ontario. Here is a list of those players from Ontario who ended in the the top 6 in singles or reached the semifinals or better in doubles. A spectacular showing at all levels.

U18 Boys Singles: Denis Shapovalov (Ch), Jack Mingjie Lin (3) David Volfson (4), Victor Krustev (5), Ivan Mitric (6). Doubles: Denis Shapovalov (with Alexis Galarneau) (Ch), Jack Mingjie Lin (& Joshua Peck) (F), Malik Bhatnagar & Ivan Mitric (SF), Victor Krustev & Christian Lakoseljac (SF).

U18 Girls Singles: Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Ch), Vanessa Wong (F), Isabelle Boulais (3), Sofija Zecevic (4), Savanna Ly (5). Doubles: Bianca Vanessa Andreescu & Isabelle Boulais (Ch), Sofiya Babych & Layne Sleeth (F), Anca Craciun & Natasha Irani (SF).

U16 Boys Singles: Victor Krustev (Ch), Ivan Mitric (3), Malik Bhatnagar (4).  Doubles: Victor Krustev (& Nicaise Muamba) (Ch).

U16 Girls Singles: Isabelle Boulais (Ch), Daria Tomashevskaya (F), Anca Craciun (3), Ariana Arseneault (5). Doubles: Isabelle (& Tiffany Lagarde) (Ch), Anca Craciun (& Jessie Gong) (F), Sofiya Babych & Alisia Stephanie Manolescu (SF).

U14  Boys Singles: Liam Draxl (3), Nick Lagaev (5). Doubles: Stefan Storch (& Luka Vukovic) (F),Liam Draxl & Nick Lagaev (SF), Ilya Tirapolsky & Trevor Masi (SF).

U14 Girls Singles: Ariana Arseneault (Ch), Daria Tomashevskaya (4)  Natasha Sengphrachanh (5). Doubles: Ariana Arseneault & Jada Bui (Ch), Natasha Sengphrachanh & Daria Tomashevskaya (SF).

U12 Boys Singles: Ashton Cross (Ch), Marko Stakusic (F), Alex (Xiang) Lu (3). Doubles:  Stefano Liokossis & Alex (Xiang) Lu (F), Ashton Cross & Marko Stakusic (SF)
U12 Girls Singles: Rachel Krzyzak (Ch), Dasha Plekhanova (F). Doubles:  Rachel Krzyzak & Ana Grubor (SF), Yochana Benchetrit & Marina Stakusic (SF).


Miele Masters Series 

There is still time to enter the final event in the Miele Masters Series to be held Oct 9 to 11 at Mayfair West, Parkway and East. This event is for singles for players of all age categories (5 year breaks) from over 35 to over 65 and includes two special features - a century (combined age over 100) mixed doubles event and a special player reception hosted by Miele at the Miele Gallery in Vaughan. Click on Tournament information to get all the entry details!

Ontario Seniors at Nationals

The Steve Stevens Senior Nationals was played in Montreal the week of August 16 to 22. With more than 400 participants matches were held at 5 clubs with most finals being held at Mount Royal Tennis Club. The other clubs used were Cote St.Luc, Monkland &Woodlands Tennis Clubs.

Congratulations go to the following Ontario players placed in the top 4 in singles or reached the finals in doubles.
MD35 Cameron Cross (& Philippe Pourreaux) (Ch) 
WS 35 Kanta Murali (F) Liane Marr (4)  WD35 Kanta Murali & Liane Marr (Ch)
WS40 Jennifer Bishop (Ch) Sophie Ronan (F), WD40 Jennifer Bishop & Sophie Ronan (Ch)
MD 45 Mike O’Neill (& Martin Lemay) (F)
WS 45 Lucie Lean (F)
MS 50 Gary Meanchos (4)  Gary Meanchos (& Nigel O’Rourke) (Ch)
WS50 Kathy Mueller (4)
MS55 Kerry Mitchell (Ch), Colin McAlpin (F),  MD 55 Fraser Macdonald (& Robert Exell)(Ch)
WD55 Janice Hebert & Susanna Sekely (F)
MS60 Keith Porter (Ch) Rosti Brankovsky (3)  James Cameron (& Steve Yesowick) (Ch), Dennis Ing & Keith Porter (F) WS 60 Michelle Hall (F), Christa Cameron (4), Christa & Michelle (Ch)
MS65 Tim Griffin (Ch)
WS 65 Mary Ann Gaskin (Ch) WD65 Mary Ann Gaskin (& Patricia McLachlan) (F)
MS70 John Tibbits (F), Shaheer Mikhail (4) MD70 Hani Ayoub (& William Berry) (F)
WS 70 Gisela Nouisser (F), WD 70 Jane Seed (& Louise Langston)  (Ch)
MS 75 Guido Weber (F) MD 75 Guido Weber (& Horst Dammholz) (F) 
WS 75 Inge Weber (Ch), Muffie Grieve (2), Evelyn Hustwit (3). (see photo L to R)
MS80 Bob Bedard (Ch) MS85 Lorne Main (Ch)

Photos of this event can be accessed from the Canada Seniors Tennis Facebook page.

Super-seniors leaving soon for Croatia

Several Ontario Players going to Umag and Novigrad, Croatia for the Super Seniors (65 and over) ITF Team Tennis Championships. We wish them safe travels and the best of luck! They are:-

Coby Dommasch, Mary Ann Gaskin, Tim Griffin, Lorne Main, Shaheer Mikhail,  John Payne, John Tibbits, Guido Weber.  TSN prepared a video on Lorne Main which aired during the Rogers Cup....check it out at

Video on Lorne Main

 TSN prepared a video on Lorne Main which aired during the Rogers Cup....check it out at
LorneMainvideo  (you will have to watch ads, another news item (Kraft project) and intro before you get the video).



Do you notice hands? If you do you will enjoy the new #getonthecourt contest in the latest issue of Ontario Tennis magazine!  This example showing Monfils' hand was thought to be too easy - but it makes an attractive photo! Answers and winners will be announced in the November issue of SPIN Monthly.

The Fall issue of Ontario Tennis should be available any day now on line. The theme for the issue is Socially Speaking. Contents include an interview with Gaby Dabrowski, PanAm games gold and silver medallist, articles on Lorne Main and Belinda Bencic and a guide to social media for the uninitiated, along with articles from our regular departments.

The winner of the #getonthecourt Get on Centre Court with Rob Steckley photo contest is being determined this week. To check out the entries you can go to the Ontario Tennis Association Facebook page and scroll down.

You can get to the online versions of Ontario Tennis or the Ontario Tennis Association Facebook page by scrolling down on the home page.