Tennis reached Canada in the late 19th century. The first club created was the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club (1875). Three short years later the first tournament was held in Montreal, and in the 1880s a plethora of new clubs were formed across Canada. The Canadian Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA), also known as Tennis Canada, was established in 1890. As the years went by, things continued to change for the better. Nowadays, highly prestigious tournaments are held on Canadian soil. Rogers Cup is one of them, which was formerly known as the Canadian Open.
Tennis culture in Canada managed to produce some great players that reached the upper echelon of the world rankings. Looking at the rankings for these past few years, we can see that Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard is a player that deserves praise. In 2014, she was ranked number 5. Although she could not stay in the top 10, she has won more than $6 million in her career so far. Keep in mind that she is still only 25 years old, and we expect great things from her in the near future.
The Canadian men’s tennis is faring better than women’s tennis, and that is mostly because of Milos Raonic. The Montenegrin-born is currently ranked 17th, but in November 2016, he was ranked 3rd in the world. His best result was reaching the Australian Open semi-finals and Wimbledon finals in 2016. The 28-year-old has won more than $18 million in his career so far, and unfortunately, the only reason holding him back is the injuries that have been bothering him for quite some time. Raonic is known for having one of the strongest serves in the history of the game, and many legends like Pete Sampras and Serena Williams have praised him for the almost unstoppable serve. He has been compared to Isner and Karlovic due to the similar playstyle.
Canada, a future tennis superpower?
2019 is a year that the tennis fans in Canada are enjoying to the maximum. The surge of new players showing great results has caught the attention of people all over the world. Wile Raonic and Bouchard have become established players with successful careers; the next wave of players is about to take over. Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov, and Felix Auger-Aliassime are all aged 20 and under, caught the world by the storm. Andreescu is currently ranked number 22 and is having an incredible year so far. She won the Indian Wells Masters in March, becoming the first wild card ever to win this prestigious tournament. Everything was going wonderfully for her, as she managed to defeat Bouzkova in the first round of the French Open in three sets. However, a shoulder injury forced her to withdraw from the tournament and try to prepare for the upcoming grass court tourneys.
Denis Shapovalov is an astonishing young man that is conquering the tennis world one game at a time. The Russian-born is currently ranked number 24, and it seems that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The world first remembered his name at the 2017 Rogers Cup, where he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro, Adrian Mannarino, and the tennis legend, Rafael Nadal. However, he could not win the entire tournament, as Alexander Zverev stopped him in the semis. This year is looking very bright for the young Canadian, as he reached the 3rd round in the Australian Open. In Roland Garros, he was unfortunately defeated by Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round, in three straight sets, but the hopes are high that in the next Grandslams his performances will improve exponentially.
Félix Auger-Aliassime is the last member of the future Canadian trio, and all three of them are expected to become bona fide stars. As of May 2019, he is ranked number 22 in the world, and this year has become the breakout year for him, after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas (ranked 10th at the time) in straight sets at the Indian Wells Masters. His greatest Grandslam achievement was reaching the first round of the U.S. Open in 2018. The future seems very bright for these three young and talented tennis players from Canada. Many experts are surprised by the fact that Canada, who was relatively unknown for producing top tier tennis talent, may have found their future stars.
Children of immigrants
All three players have one thing in common; they are children of immigrants. While this may be something of a coincidence, one thing that is for certain is the work ethic that they have is almost unmatched among younger tennis players from Canada. Another great feat worth pointing out is that Andreescu and Auger-Aliassime are just eighteen years old, while Shapovalov is twenty. If they continue playing at the level that they have been playing so far, we can expect them to become the next Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Many people think that it is quite early to give them such epithets. We have to remember that even legendary players like Federer and Williams were once young and inexperienced. The hype about the future of the tennis in Canada has caught the eye of many experts. The verdict remains to be seen in the next few years.
The current success is attributed to the great programs that Tennis Canada has provided to young players. However, taking into consideration that countries with more money and experience have failed to produce great players consistently, we can safely say that this topic is more complicated because money does not guarantee you success. It also has to do with pure and dumb luck, to put it in layman terms. The combination of many factors has produced players like Novak Djokovic, a perennial superstar. Maybe the North-American country has found the recipe of success, and this is just the beginning of a new wave that will sweep the tennis world. Based on the abovementioned points, we have plenty of reasons to feel hopeful and positive about the future.
Cool facts about the Rogers Cup
Rogers Cup is held on the Canadian soil and despite not being as famous as the four worldwide famous Grandslams, it holds the title as the third oldest tournament in the world. Four years after Wimbledon, and only two weeks after the US Open. All the profits earned in the tournament are used to develop tennis in Canada further. The most successful player of the Rogers Cup is Ivan Lendl, who won the tournament an astonishing six times.