Monday, 27 October 2014

Rookie Tour hits Winnipeg Winter Club

The Winnipeg Winter Club saw 18 up-and-coming players between the ages of 5 and 13 years of age hit the tennis courts at the recent Rogers Rookie Tour. Some serious fun was had by all who attended, which is a key emphasis of Rogers Rookie Tour events.

Tournament organizer, Robert Kennedy, liked the competitive spirit and sportsmanship demonstrated by the kids. All participants came out winners, as each player walked away with a nice prize pack which included a T-shirt, sack pack, water bottle, cap, tennis ball and a Rogers Rookie Tour certificate.

The Rogers Rookie Tour matches are played with slower red, orange or green balls on smaller courts, using modified scoring. It is a fun way to start tennis and makes it easy for children to play the game, develop good technique and tactics and a love for the sport. 

The next Rogers Rookie Tour event is scheduled for November 30th at the Winnipeg Winter Club. Sign-up and schedule details can be found at

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Under 10 Provincial Team Training Program

Tennis Manitoba will offer a new introductory tennis program starting this October for young athletes born during 2005 and earlier. The introductory sessions are aimed to develop a solid foundation of tennis skills, and will use a variety of games, drills and activities to develop coordination, balance, agility and speed. Kids will also learn tennis scoring, as well as beginning tactics and strategies for playing matches.

The full program will run 30 weeks from October to June, and is broken into 3 sessions of about 10 weeks each. Successful participants will be selected at an evaluation camp scheduled for 3 - 5 p.m., Saturday, October 4 at the Norwood Community Center.

For additional program details, click here.

Parents interested in having their child participate in the program are to contact Jared Connell before 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 1, 2014, at

Monday, 8 September 2014

Tennis in Canada continues remarkable growth in participation and popularity, recent study shows

More than 6.5 million Canadians played tennis this past year; 32% increase from 2012

Toronto, September 8, 2014 – Tennis Canada announced Monday the results from a 2014 national research study on the health of the sport of tennis in Canada. The study shows that in the past 12 months, more than 6.5 million Canadians played tennis at least once. This is a 32% increase over 2012 when the last participation numbers were tracked. Popularity of the sport is also on the rise with 51% of Canadians saying they are either somewhat or very interested in the sport, up from 38% in 2012.

“We expected significant growth having not conducted this research for two years, so we are extremely pleased with these results which show that tennis continues to be on the rise in Canada at the grassroots level,” said Kelly D. Murumets, President and CEO, Tennis Canada. “There are several factors that can be attributed to this incredible development including the tremendous success of our athletes on the international stage, our two world-class tournaments, strong partnerships with provincial associations, private coaches and clubs, and dedicated volunteers and community leaders running programming across the country. The data shows that Canadians view tennis as a safe, family-friendly, affordable and accessible sport with many physical, social and emotional health benefits.”

Of the 6.5 million participants, 5.3 million play at least four times per year while nearly 1.7 million are considered frequent players who hit the courts at least twice per month during the summer. This is also a 32% increase in frequent players when compared to the 2012 report.

Also showing double digit growth is participation and interest amongst youth. More than 600,000 children between the ages of 6-11 picked up a racquet in the last year. More than half of those children played at least four times in that 12-month span; this is an increase of more than 80% for that age group. The study also shows that the majority of the new fan interest in the sport overall is coming from a younger demographic.

Participation based on region is fairly proportional to population, with British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec leading the way. Overall interest growth remains steady across the country, with the most significant rise coming out of the Maritime Provinces where fan engagement with the sport has tripled over the past two years. With three new facilities having opened on the East Coast in Fredericton, Truro and Dartmouth over the past 18 months, in addition to Halifax playing host to the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Play-Off tie, Atlantic Canada is emerging as an important market for tennis in the country.

The study was conducted among 3800 Canadians from across the country by Charlton Strategic Research Inc. and this assessment of both participation and fan interest will continue on an annual basis moving forward.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Johanson and Petrick win Winnipeg Doubles Crown

(Tennis Canada) Canadian teenagers Rosie Johanson and Charlotte Petrick continued their incredible run at the $25K CIBC Wood Gundy Women’s Challenger in Winnipeg on Sunday, defeating top-seeded Brazilian-American duo Maria-Fernanda Alves and Anamika Bhargava 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles final to capture their first career professional-level titles.

After winning their three previous contests in match tiebreakers, 15-year-old Johanson and 17-year-old Petrick were the stronger pair in the final, clinching three service breaks while saving all three break points they faced. In addition to taking out the No. 1 pair in the championship match, Johanson and Petrick also ousted the No. 2 and No. 4-seeded teams en route. It was an impressive week for the unseeded duo, with Johanson not currently holding a pro-level ranking and Petrick possessing a No. 1282 ranking in doubles.

Johanson and Petrick will next be participating in the Canadian Open Junior Championships, taking place in Repentigny, Que. this upcoming week. The most important international junior event to take place in Canada each year, it is an ITF Grade 1 tournament – one level below the junior Slams.

In singles, top-seeded Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner faced little trouble eliminating No. 2 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan 6-2, 6-2 in the championship match. Dishing Hibi her first two lost sets of the week, Mayr-Achleitner won her 17th career ITF Pro Circuit crown. The world No. 85 will now be heading from Winnipeg to New York for the US Open, where she will face No. 29 seed Casey Dellacqua in the Slam’s first round.

On the men’s side of the Winnipeg tournament, the $15K Manshield Men’s Futures saw 20-year-old Liam Broady of Great Britain walk away with the title. The No. 4 seed beat unseeded Aussie Blake Mott 6-3, 6-4 for his third career professional singles trophy. A former junior world No. 2, Broady didn’t lose a set all week.

Canadian Philip Bester and partner Marcus Daniell of New Zealand fell just short of the men’s doubles crown, dropping a 7-5, 7-5 decision to Bulgarian-Indian pair Dimitar Kutrovsky and Saketh Myneni.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Busy Day in Winnipeg Sees Philip Bester Make Semifinals

(Tennis Canada) After rain washed out nearly a full day of play at the $25K CIBC Wood Gundy Women’s Challenger and $15K Manshield Men’s Futures in Winnipeg, it was a busy Friday at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club as two rounds of action were completed to catch up.

With his two victories on the day, Philip Bester is the lone Canadian still standing in singles at the men’s and women’s joint event. First, he came back from a set down to oust Australian Greg Jones 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round before upsetting No. 3 seed Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria 7-6(3), 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

In the semifinals, 25-year-old Bester will challenge another Aussie, Blake Mott, in what will be their first meeting. Since starting his comeback from hip surgery in June, Bester has now made two semifinals in seven events and will be aiming to advance into his first final.

The second men’s semifinal will pit two 20-year-old seeded players opposite each other. Top-seeded Australian Jordan Thompson, currently ranked world No. 279, will face No. 4 seed Liam Broady of Great Britain, the world’s No. 346-ranked competitor. Neither athlete has dropped a set through three matches in Winnipeg so far.

On the women’s side, Canadians Charlotte Robillard-Millette and Carol Zhao both picked up one victory on Friday to make the quarter-finals before falling in their next matches.

Robillard-Millette, who just last week won her second U18 national title of the year, captured the biggest pro-level win of her young career in the second round by defeating No. 4 seed Tori Kinard of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. With the win, the 15-year-old advanced into her first professional quarter-final.

A few hours later though, she fell to American Nadja Gilchrist 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a hard-fought duel.

The $25K tournament’s No. 3 seed, Zhao easily handled American Parris Todd 6-0, 7-5 in the second round but was eliminated in the quarters by Great Britain’s Isabelle Wallace 6-3, 7-5.

The semifinals will see Gilchrist take on No. 1 seed Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria and Wallace challenge No. 2 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan.

Action starts at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday at 10 a.m. local time/11 a.m. ET. Admission is free for all fans.

Bryans learned to win at '99 Games

By: Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press

THE greatest men's doubles team in tennis history learned how to win on the world stage in Winnipeg.

Wayne Bryan, father and coach of Mike and Bob Bryan, said their gold-medal performance at the Pan Am Games in 1999 was a key "ingredient" in their careers, which has seen them win 15 Grand Slam events, 99 career titles and an Olympic gold medal.

"The Pan Am Games gave them a feel of what was to come in the Olympics and the Davis Cup. That was the first time they got to wear the colours of the USA as pros. They've always loved playing for their country," the family patriarch said.

Bryan was flown in by the organizers of the Manshield Tennis Futures and CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger tournaments to put on some doubles clinics for local players and speak at a couple of sponsors' events.


He was impressed with the organizers of the fifth-biggest professional tournament in Canada.

"There are a lot of extras out there, the flags, the flowers, the food and quite a few social activities. Most of the tournaments don't do all of that," he said.

Even when he's not with his sons, he's in contact with them every day either on the phone or via email or text. He'll pass on the odd tip when he watches them on television but he makes sure not to go overboard on the advice.

"It's little tiny reminders, not too much. The best coaches don't blabber too much but when they talk it's gold bullion. The players tune you out if you talk too much," he said.

Bryan said the best thing that aspiring tennis players can do when a tournament of this calibre is in town is to go to the site and watch both matches and practices.

"Champions take it in through their eyes not the ears," he said.

The men's and women's events continue at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club through Sunday. Admission is free.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 C4

'Dream' scenario for Kylar

Kevin Kylar beat Tony Larson of Minneapolis on Wednesday and will
now have a world ranking somewhere between 1,800th and 2,200th.

Becomes first Manitoban to earn an ATP point in 25 years

By: Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press

Kevin Kylar can now be found on the same rankings list as Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Sure, he'll probably be a couple of thousand spots below the best players in the world when the new ATP rankings come out in a couple of weeks, but the important thing is he's there.

Kylar, 19, became the first Manitoba tennis player since 1989 to earn an ATP point when he beat Tony Larson of Minneapolis in the first round of the Manshield Futures tournament at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday.

Matthew Akman was the last Manitoban to turn the trick a quarter of a century ago.

Kylar's 2-6, 6-2, 3-0 (retired) win was his first in eight tries in the main draw of a "futures" level of tournament. It will give him one point and a world ranking in the neighbourhood of 1,800 to 2,200.

"It's awesome," he said. "Not too many people can say they've achieved that. It's been a dream of mine since I was little, so it's great."

"You make all these crazy goals when you're 10 and 90 per cent of them don't come through."

Kylar was particularly happy to earn his point in Winnipeg in front of a home crowd.

"Whether I won or lost the point, they were cheering. They were very helpful, very supportive," he said.

Mark Arndt, executive director of Tennis Manitoba, was quick to point out Akman, who was a star junior in Manitoba in the 1980s, had moved out east by the time he earned his ATP point.

"Kevin is the first true Winnipegger," he said.

Arndt will now shift his focus to building on Kylar's success and growing tennis in Manitoba.

"Will this make a kid want to play and be the next guy to get that point? I think it will. We have to capture this momentum and ride the wave. This is big for Manitoba. It will show the kids playing today that if Kevin can do it, they can, too. We won't be waiting 25 years again," he said.

Kylar may be looking up from the bottom of the professional tennis mountain but he has experience with those at the peak. Last March in Indian Wells, Calif., he warmed up Djokovic for 45 minutes prior to his singles final against Federer, which he won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). The victory included a $1-million prize. (Hitting partners, unfortunately, don't get a cut of that kind of money. They work for tips.)

Kylar might not be done compiling ATP points either. He played fourth-seeded Liam Broady from England in his second-round match late Thursday. He lost the first set before the match was suspended due to rain. The match was slated to be completed this morning.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

CTV Sport Star: Kylie Waschuk

Kylie Waschuk was selected as the CTV Sport Star. The top-ranked junior tennis player in the province has captured several championship wins in Manitoba, and will be playing NCAA Division 1 tennis for Loyola Marymount University beginning this fall.

To view video, click here.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Professional Tennis Tournament Coming to Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – Canadian Tennis has never been more successful and now you can watch the next wave of upcoming tennis stars here in Winnipeg playing in a local professional tournament. Pro tennisManitoba is presenting the Manshield Futures and the CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger August 16-24 at Winnipeg Lawn and Tennis Club.

The men’s Manshield Futures tournament and the women’s CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger were held on different weeks in August in the last few years, but for 2014 they will be played simultaneously to create a larger scale tournament and capitalize on the growing interest in tennis across Canada.

“An unbelievable opportunity was presented to host a combined men’s and women’s event. We jumped on it. This has become the 5th largest pro tournament in Canada and we look forward to showcasing world class tennis in our province” says Tournament Chair and Tennis Manitoba Executive Director, Mark Arndt.

Added features to this year’s event include the special guest appearance of Wayne Bryan, father and coach of the Bryan brothers – Bob and Mike. The two are arguably the most prolific doubles team in the history of men’s tennis. Wayne will be doing clinics, meet and greets and guest speeches on August 19th and 20th. He will be available to speak to the media. As well, there will be a pro / am on Monday, August 18 at 6:00 pm.

Admission to the event is free throughout the week. You can also follow the tournament on twitter @protennismb, @winnipegfutures (men’s event) and @wpgchallenger (women’s event).

Go to to learn more.

For media requests and to schedule interviews with players, please contact:

Mark Arndt: (cell) 204.799.2224 or (office) 204.925.5660

Monday, 4 August 2014

Instructor and Club Professional 1 Courses

Tennis Manitoba, the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA), and Coaching Manitoba have partnered to deliver: an Instructor Course and a Club Professional 1 Course.

Instructor Course - August 25th - 28th, 2014

Club Professional 1 - September 4th - 7th & October 2nd - 5th, 2014

Both courses will be at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club and have several prerequisites which can be found by using the link attached below.

To register click here.

If you have questions, or are having issues with your registration, please contact Marlon at Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or email

Sunday, 27 July 2014

2014 Prairie Regionals

Morgan Waller (SK) and Mackenzie Miller (MB) book
 their ticket to U14 Canadian Nationals.

2014 Manitoba - Saskatchewan Outdoor Nationals Qualifying Event

Tennis Manitoba along with Taylor Tennis hosted a two day regionals tournament which, at the completion, identified players that will travel to the Canadian National Championships.

Congratulations to all that competed.

U12 girls qualifying for nationals in Montreal:
  • Reece Carter - MB
  • Elinor Shpunt - MB
  • Shia Holms - SK
U12 boys qualifying for nationals in Montreal:
  • Josh Saban - SK
  • Sahand Marzban - MB
  • Ben Lortie - SK
U14 Girls qualifying for nationals in Montreal:
  • Morgan Waller - SK
  • Andreea Ababei - SK
  • Mackenzie Miller - MB
Other Manitobans heading to the nationals are:

U14 boys in Montreal:
  • Daniel Gharagozloo
  • Sahand Marzban
U16 Boys in Mississauga:
  • Daniel Gharagozloo
U18 Boys in Mississauga:
  • Cole Lacap
  • Shrey Gupta
  • Daniel Gharagozloo
View Prairie Regionals photos.

Team Prairies Nationals Preparatory Camp

Jared Connell and Emerson Gusmini along with help from Denise Fernandez and Robert Kennedy ran a day camp at Taylor Tennis to prepare the recent qualifying players for the Canadian national championships in August. Great effort was shown by all participants.

Good luck to all at nationals!

Thank you to Narom Sing for the photos. (Click here to view.)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Getting fit on Winnipeg tennis courts

Cardio Tennis is a fun, social, group tennis-fitness program for
people of all ages and abilities. It’s more about getting a great,
high-energy workout than pure tennis technique.
(Source: Tennis Australia)

Tennis, anyone?

Dawn Peter, for the Winnipeg Sun

Tennis is one sport that’s open to everyone.

All ages and abilities can compete or just play for fun on many of the community courts around the city. Tennis Manitoba offers an eight-week program for both adults and kids to help learn the game.

Mark Arndt, executive director of Tennis Manitoba, said local interest in the sport is gaining, especially with Canadian athletes like Eugenie Bouchard competing and excelling on the world stage.

There are 130 courts in Winnipeg, but only some are up to standard, with no cracks or damages. Arndt said some of the courts are being resurfaced, but he thinks a “green team” is something the city can offer community centres to improve the quality of the playing surface.

Cleaning the court could be a good cardio workout like being the ball boy. A more popular way to work out, though, is “cardio tennis.” It’s like the tennis workout challenge featured on The Biggest Loser, where unskilled participants were introduced to the sport by an ex-tennis player.

Cardio tennis is a group lesson that allows people to play for 20 to 45 minutes with breaks for water. The intensity can pick up with the music, so drills for footwork and movement teach proper stance.

“All skill levels don’t need to know how to hold a tennis racquet,” said Arndt.

This is not for points. Forget your forehand and your backhand.

Right now, there are sessions offered by an experienced instructor at Glendale Golf Course on Thursdays.

“The guy is from Brazil with a huge tennis background,” said Arndt.

At the Norwood Community Centre, Brian, a fellow certified instructor, offers lunchtime tennis for office people on their break.

“People can’t wait to come back,” Arndt said, adding community centres reach out to their communities with posters and the web to promote local activities like tennis.

It’s one way to get started on the court. Movement counts.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Frontier Subaru & WLTC Present the 5th Annual Charity Tie-Break Tournament

Event announcement provided by Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

The 5th Annual Doubles Charity Tie Break Tournament will once again be in memory of Susan Griffiths and in support of Parkinson Society Manitoba. Players will receive a charitable tax receipt for their registration donation of $25.00 per person. Ladies, men's and mixed doubles will be the three events offered. Our Head Pro Trevor Skidmore will arrange the matches according team skill levels to ensure an enjoyable and fun afternoon of tennis. 
Please sign up as a team or if you require a partner, please let Trevor know as soon as possible and he will do his best to find you a partner. If you are unable to participate in the tournament but would like to make a donation at the club, please do so and you will receive a charitable tax receipt from Parkinson Society Manitoba. 
Join us courtside to enjoy the matches. Finger food will be served after play has concluded and beverages will be available for purchase. 

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Larson Three-peats at Manitoba Open

The 2014 Manitoba Open completed finals matches indoors,
at the Winnipeg Winter Club. Pictured (left to right) is
tournament chair David Scrapneck, Open Men's Singles
champion Tony Larson and finalist Sean Bailey.

American Tony Larson walked away from the Kildonan Tennis Club with his third Manitoba Open men's singles championship, a feat last accomplished by Manitoba's Doug DeVriendt in 2002.

However, DeVriendt's modern era records of five Manitoba Open championships, and three straight, remain safe for now. Larson previously hoisted the provincial championship trophy in 2012 and 2010.

Winnipeg's Sean Bailey didn't make it easy for Larson, as the Kildonan Tennis Club member pushed the champ into extra games in the second set of the final. The finals score was 6-1 7-5.

Bailey would extract some revenge after the men's singles final, as he and partner Saul Shrom defeated the top seeded Larson and Sean Lacap in the Men's Open Doubles final, 6-3 6-1.

In the Women's Open Doubles championship match, it was Olga Berdynskykh and Ainsley Bishop who won 6-3 6-4 over Angela Earl and Teresa Haro.

Haro would later partner with Saul Shrom in a winning effort, defeating Alan Gardiner and Olga Berdynskykh 6-4 6-2 to take the Open Mixed Doubles title.

The Women's Open Singles event was not held.

In wheelchair action, it was Samuel Unrau who won all his singles matches in round robin play.

Other event winners include: Jennifer Wang (women's 5.5 singles), Patrick Fu (men's 4.5 singles), Monika Popovic (women's 4.5 singles), Jake Bergen (men`s 3.5 singles), Christopher Shay and Glen Ziprick (men`s 4.5 doubles), and Jovial Anoling and Lydia Gloria (mixed 4.5 doubles).

A complete listing of draws and results can be found at

Next on the tennis tournament scene in Manitoba are the women`s $25,000 CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger and men`s $15,000 Manshield Tennis Futures, both being held at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club, August 16-24.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Bailey Captures Deer Lodge Title

Finals Sunday at the Deer Lodge Classic saw Sean Bailey capture
his third straight Tennis Manitoba Open Tour title. Pictured here
(left to right) is men's open finalist Sean Lacap, Sean Bailey,
tournament director Sean Grassie, and Nichol Wilson of Capital Partners.

Sean Bailey was a double winner at the 2014 Deer Lodge Classic, first beating Sean Lacap 6-0, 6-2 in the men's Open singles final. Bailey then teamed up with Chad Lacap to win the men's Open doubles, sweeping through the round-robin with a 3-0 record.

Bailey also reached the mixed Open doubles final with Samantha Lee, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Angela Earl and Shane Nicholls. 

Other event winners include: Daniel Gharagozloo (men's 4.5 singles), Braeden Debroni (men's 3.5 singles), Samantha Lee (women's 4.5 singles) and Melissa Serbin (women's 3.5 singles).

A record 90 players participated in the tournament, held June 14-22 at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club. Included was a four-player wheelchair singles round-robin. Won by Sam Unrau, it was the first wheelchair event to be part of a sanctioned Tennis Manitoba tournament.

Up next on the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour is the Manitoba Open, July 5-13 at the Kildonan Tennis Club.

2014 Junior Outdoor Regionals / Nationals

Eligible juniors wishing to participate in the 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals / Canadian Nationals are required to communicate their participation commitment prior to 12:00 pm (noon) on July 8, 2014.

The up-coming Prairie Regionals are used as a selection tournament for juniors from Manitoba and Saskatchewan wishing to represent our region at the Outdoor Rogers Junior Nationals. Those that would like to participate should review Tennis Manitoba’s Junior Nationals Selection Eligibility, Process and Policy Updates.

The 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals take place July 22 - 24 at Taylor Tennis, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In addition, a full day training camp is scheduled for Friday, July 25th.

Juniors that would like to compete at the 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals (or Outdoor Rogers Junior Nationals) are required to communicate their commitment no later than 12 pm (noon) on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Please email Jared Connell at with participant details (i.e. player name, age categories wishing to complete, contact email and phone number). Only those juniors that meet Tennis Manitoba’s Junior Nationals Selection Eligibility will be selected.

See also...
 » Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour
 » Rankings Update: Rogers Rankings for Manitoba Juniors
 » National Junior Open Series

Tennis Canada Instructor Course - Level 1

Tennis Manitoba is planning to offer a Tennis Canada Instructor Course - Level 1.

The course is a national certification and is 35 hours in duration. In order to offer the course, a minimum number of participants are required. If you are interested, please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or email

Friday, 20 June 2014

Play more tennis at a community center near you

Tennis Manitoba's executive director, Mark Arndt, works the
 mini-tennis courts at Corydon Community Centre in River Heights.

Several community centers in Winnipeg have partnered with Tennis Manitoba this summer to offer a variety of tennis programs for various ages and skill levels. Whether you have played before, are looking to improve your game, or just want some fun exercise, there is a program for you.

The summer evening sessions start July 21 and run for eight weeks. The program fee is $60, where participants can choose from beginner or intermediate FUNdamentals programs, or take part in Cardio tennis to get a high energy aerobic workout.

Participating locations include Corydon Community Centre, Linden Woods Community Centre, Notre Dame Community Centre, Riverview Community Centre, Valley Gardens Community Centre, and Windsor Community Centre.

For additional information visit

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wheelchair tennis takes off at Deer Lodge Classic

default video player to use on WFP

By: Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press

Whoever says wheelchair tennis is harder than it looks doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

That’s because it’s practically impossible – at least for this able-bodied tennis player.

The wheelchair version requires upper arm strength and coordination to maneuver a sports wheelchair in all directions at varying speeds so you arrive at the ball at the right time, plus all the racquet skills to produce the optimal amount of power and spin when you hit your shot.

Mobility is crucial in this sport because if you can’t move your chair around the court, it doesn’t matter if you have Rafael Nadal’s ground strokes, you won’t get your racquet on the ball.

Wheelchair tennis has been played for decades both in Manitoba and around the world but it wasn’t until this week in the province that a sanctioned tournament – The Deer Lodge Classic – included a wheelchair event.

Sean Grassie, head pro and tournament director at Deer Lodge Tennis Club, said it only made sense to combine the two versions of the same sport. There is a round-robin singles draw throughout the week and a doubles exhibition will be played on Sunday before the men’s able-bodied singles final.

"We’re going to try to showcase the wheelchair events when it’s busy at the club when people are around to watch. They’re looking forward to it," he said.

Two of the four participants in the men’s wheelchair singles, Jason Betker and Sam Unrau, agreed to give me a lesson in their sport. (They’re also paired up as one of the two men’s teams in the wheelchair doubles.)

Their first tip was to always be moving. It’s very difficult to stop and start in a wheelchair but changing direction or speeds can be done relatively easily while in motion.

Second, you’ve got to learn to explode out of the blocks when starting a point and propel yourself forward while holding on to your racquet in your dominant hand. Betker, who suffered a spinal cord injury 14 years ago while on a dirt bike, was introduced to the sport last year by some sledge hockey teammates. He thinks it’s great to have the wheelchair event alongside the able-bodied ones.

"It gives awareness to everybody that people in chairs can get out and enjoy themselves and do the same activities that able-bodied people do," he said.

Unrau, who was born with Spina Bifida and is missing part of his spine, agreed. He got into wheelchair tennis when he was just 10 years old and was a quick learner. He earned a spot on Team Manitoba at the 2007 and 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.

"We’ve been able to grow the sport of wheelchair tennis to the point where we can participate in events like the Deer Lodge Classic. It’s awesome," he said. Their final tip applies to any sport, wheelchair or able-bodied.

"Practice, practice, practice," Unrau said.

Wheelchair tennis players Jason Betker, left and Sam Unrau
explain the fundamentals of wheelchair tennis to Free Press
 reporter Geoff Kirbyson (centre).
Tennis player Sam Unrau at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club.
Additional wheelchair tennis news

Bailey up for Clay Court Challenge

The Manitoba Clay Court Challenge, recently held at Taylor Tennis in Winnipeg, lived up to its namesake.

At the top of the men's open draw was number 1 seeded player Kevin Kylar, who has dominated the local tennis scene by going undefeated in Tennis Manitoba sanctioned tournaments in 2013. Kylar's recent focus has been on chasing his first ATP points at Futures tournamenrts held around the world.

And in the challenger's corner stood the No. 2 seed Sean Bailey, who is Austin Peay’s first four-time all-conference honoree in men’s NCAA tennis.

When the dust settled on the Taylor clay courts, it was the challenger Bailey who out-battled Kylar in a third set tie-breaker to claim Manitoba men's tennis supremacy with a match score of 7-5 4-6 7-6(7).

Bailey is the top seed in the men's open draw at the Deer Lodge Classic currently taking place at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club in Winnipeg. The Classic wraps up this Sunday with the men's final scheduled to start at 12 noon.

In other action, it was Tom Brown defeating Brent Prusak 6-2 6-2 in the men`s 4.5 final. Gary Ma outlasted Mack Ritcher 6-4 6-3 in men's 3.5 final.

A complete listing of match scores are available at

Next up on the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour is the Wheat City Tennis Championships being held in Brandon, June 27 - 29. The online entry deadline is June 23 at 12 noon. For more details, visit

Monday, 16 June 2014

Prairie Cup Wheelchair Tennis Championships head to Calgary

Last year Manitoba held the inaugural Prairie Cup Wheelchair Tennis Championships at the Kildonan Tennis Club during the 2013 Manitoba Open Tennis Championships. (See story at Wheelchair tennis tournament first of its kind in Manitoba.)

The Prairie Cup has grown into a Western Canada competition, and will be incorporated into the 2014 Alberta Open held July 24 - 27 in Calgary.

Transportation is available for wheelchair athletes. Please contact BJ Engerdahl to book by July 16, 2014.

      BJ Engerdahl, BTG Program Coordinator
      Phone: 780-918-1046
      Toll Free: 1-888-453-6770

Closer to home, wheelchair athletes will also have an opportunity to compete at the 2014 Manitoba Open Tennis Championships and the Deer Lodge Classic.

2014 Alberta Open tournament site
> Additional wheelchair tennis news

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

U.S. College Recruiting Guide

The pathway from the Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour to US college tennis and the potential to receive an athletic scholarship is an incredible opportunity. Not only is US college tennis a great athletic and academic opportunity for a young aspiring tennis player and has a tremendous financial value, but there are many intangible benefits from pursuing this worthy pathway.

To help aspiring student-athletes, Tennis Canada has published the United States College Recruiting Guide. The resource will help athletes, parents and junior coaches acquire valuable knowledge and plan for a US college tennis career.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

National Junior Open Series

Tennis Canada has added three national events for U12 - U16 juniors,
 to help earn more national ranking points and entry into the
Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals. (Photo: Tennis Manitoba)

Tennis Canada — A series of three National Junior Open Series events will take place in July and August in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The events are open to all junior players in the Under 12, Under 14, and Under 16 age divisions.

Each tournament has the equivalent to quarter final national ranking points, with bonus ranking opportunities based on strength of draw, and will provide players the potential of a direct entry to the Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals in August.

Get more details at

Monday, 9 June 2014

Road to Nationals continues with WOW Junior

World of Water Junior Open tournament director Peter Otto
 with U14 girl's champion, Reece Carter (left), and U16 girl's
champion, Monika Popovic (right).

The World of Water Junior Open concluded on Sunday at the Kildonan Tennis Club, with Manitoba juniors picking up valuable ranking points en route to participating in this summer's Prairie Regionals and Rogers Junior National Championships competitions.

The WOW Junior champions were as follows:
  • U12 boy's: Marcello Audino
  • U12 girl's: Elinor Shpunt
  • U14 girl's: Reece Carter
  • U16 girl's: Monika Popovic.
View complete World of Water Junior Open match results

Next up on the 2014 Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour:
Current Rogers Rankings for Manitoba juniors:
Details for Junior Tour Rankings for National Qualification.

Click on image to view the
2014 World of Water Junior Open photo album.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Norwood hosts summer wheelchair programs

Norwood Community Center will once again be the host site for summer wheelchair programs run by Tennis Manitoba and the Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association.

The programs take place on Thursday evenings for both youth and adults, starting July 3rd. Introductory sessions are provided for those new to tennis, as well as developmental training for the more experienced wheelchair tennis players. All equipment is provided for participants.

If you are interested in the wheelchair tennis programs, or know someone that is, please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or for additional details.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Juniors move closer to Nationals at Tuxedo Junior Open

Shawn Sophasath prepares to serve in U14 boy's action at
Tuxedo Tennis Club, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Tuxedo Junior Open concluded on Sunday, with Manitoba juniors competing for ranking points which moves them a step closer to participating in the Rogers Junior National Championships.

The champions were as follows:
  • U12 boy's: Marcello Audino
  • U14 & U16 boy's: Daniel Gharagozloo
  • U18 boy's: Cole Lacap
  • U12 & U14 girl's: Sabrina Alano
  • U16 girl's: Elinor Shpunt.
View complete Tuxedo Junior Open match results

Next up on the 2014 Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour:
Current Rogers Rankings for Manitoba juniors:
Details for Junior Tour Rankings for National Qualification.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Team tennis returns after successful first year

Meet new people. Have a great time. Improve your game.

Tennis Manitoba is excited to announce the return of the Manitoba Team Tennis League which runs on Friday evenings in July and August.

Teams of four to six men, women and/or juniors will compete in one of four divisions based on skill level.

Matches will be played on courts throughout the city, with the finals scheduled for August 22 at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club in Wildwood Park.

League participants are encouraged to sign up as a team, and will be accepted on a first come basis. Tennis Manitoba will help those looking for a team to join, or guidance on which division their team should be entered into.

For more details, visit

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rogers Cup offer for Tennis Manitoba members

The men’s Rogers Cup presented by National Bank will take place in Toronto from August 2-10 this year. Members of Tennis Manitoba can experience championship weekend for as little as $499* for 2 people.

Tennis Canada has put together a package that will help Tennis Manitoba members book their tickets and potential hotel for championship weekend (August 9 & 10) with one phone call.

To order your tickets or for more information, contact Cassandra at 1-877-283-6647 extension 7973.

To be eligible for the promotional pricing, Tennis Manitoba members are to provide their membership number when booking tickets. Adult membership is available for only $20 and is available online at

* Price represents 2 Fan Zone tickets for one session of semi-final on Saturday, August 9 and the finals on Sunday, August 10 plus one night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Vaughan. Other ticket price levels and Hilton properties available. Prices will vary. Schedule subject to change.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Bailey's back – Wins title at WLTC Open

Sean Bailey (left) faced Chad Lacap in the men's final at the WLTC
Open & Senior Championships held at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

After a year hiatus from the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour, Sean Bailey provided Sunday's tennis crowd at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club with a dominant display of power and and all-court coverage en route to winning the men's open singles title at the WLTC Open & Senior Championships.

Dropping a stingy four games throughout the tournament, Bailey demonstrated his former NCAA college tennis prowess while the rest of the field struggled to find their form during the first outdoor tournament of the season.

In the end, it was Bailey who was victorious in the men's open final against Chad Lacap, with a match score of 6-1 6-0. The biggest challenge for the No. 1 seeded Bailey came in the semi-finals, where he disposed of another former NCAA combatant, Shane Nicholls 6-3 6-0. Earlier in the day, No. 3 seeded Lacap knocked off Manitoba tennis hall of famer Ray Daumler in a three setter 1-6 7-5 6-2.

In a battle of the juniors, it was Kylie Waschuk who defeated Sabrina Alano 7-5 6-1 to take the women's open title. Waschuk remains undefeated on Manitoba soil during the past 22 months, going back to the 2012 Manitoba Open.

Alano quickly rebounded, going 3-0 in the women's 4.5 singles event round robin.

Top seeded Patrick Fu won the men's 4.5 singles event, with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Connor Davies. And it was the No. 2 seed Gary Ma who out lasted Jeffrey Friesen 6-3 0-6 6-4 for the men's 3.5 singles title.

In men's 4.5 doubles, it was the team of Jovial Anoling and Noel Pe who bested Mike Bockstael and Chris Schaap 6-2 6-2. The 4.5 mixed doubles was settled by a third set super tie-break, where Hugh Hull and Michaela Tennant triumphed over Souk Xoum and Samantha Lee 6-1 6-7(5) 10-3. The team of Lillian Wong and Jody Woods went 3-0 in their women`s 3.5 doubles round robin.

A complete listing of match scores are available at

Next up on the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour is the Manitoba Clay Court Challenge being held at Taylor Tennis, June 9 - 15. The online entry deadline is June 6 at 12 noon. For more details, visit

Click on above image to view WLTC Open photo album.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Tennis Manitoba recruiting officials, referees and lines people

Looking for an opportunity to get involved in professional tennis?

Tennis Manitoba is recruiting people who want to be part of our officials crew at the CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger and Manshield Tennis Futures Pro Circuit tournaments being held at the Winneg Lawn Tennis Club from August 16th to 24th.

Interested? Sign up for a free clinic being held on Friday, May 30th, 7 pm - 9:30 pm at the Kildonan Tennis Club located at 17 Valhalla Drive in Winnipeg.

To register, contact Mark Arndt at (204) 925-5660 or

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tennis Manitoba’s Junior Nationals Selection Eligibility, Process and Policy Updates

In order to represent Manitoba as a member of Team Prairies at the Rogers Junior National Championships, a junior must be a Canadian citizen and/or permanent resident of Manitoba and compete in a minimum of two Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour tournaments in their age category during the past 52 weeks (which includes Regionals). Students attending school out of province are eligible assuming they meet the residence criteria. In addition, a junior must be in good standing with Tennis Manitoba (membership, financial, discipline, etc.).

Process and Policy
Tennis Manitoba (TM) will use the new Tennis Canada national ranking system to determine provincial rankings to select juniors to represent Manitoba to compete with Saskatchewan in a Prairies Qualifier (Regionals) for the opportunity to participate at the Rogers Junior National Championships. 

Manitoba’s top four juniors of each age category and gender may have the opportunity to participate in the indoor and outdoor Regionals, where Tennis Manitoba reserves the right to appoint one selection due to exceptional circumstances as well as limit participation to only the top eight ranked juniors for each age category / gender.

Draws at Regionals will contain up to eight juniors, with participating provinces having the opportunity to increase provincial representation to fill the draws.

Wildcards for Regionals may be granted only for extraordinary circumstances. If a junior desires to compete for a Nationals spot and has extraordinary circumstances such that they were not able to participate in sufficient TM sanctioned junior tournaments within their desired age category and/or has a competitive justification for the request, they must notify TM of these in writing thirty (30) days prior to Regionals to be considered for a wildcard.

2014 Outdoor Regionals
Outdoor Regionals selections will use a cut off date of July 20, 2014, which is one day after the completion of the Deer Lodge Jr Classic.

2015 Indoor Regionals
Indoor Regionals selections will use a cut off date of one day after the completion of the 2015 Winnipeg Winter Club Junior Open (January 2015 dates to be determined).

TM reserves the right to make reasonable discretionary decisions toward the goals of and in concert with the policy regarding issues unforeseen within the policy as it currently stands.

Policy updates and TM sanctioned junior tournament schedule and results will be posted at Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Community centers spring into tennis programming

Tennis Manitoba has partnered with Winnipeg area community
centers to offer beginner, intermediate and exercise programs.

Looking to play more tennis at a community center near you? 

Several community centers in Winnipeg have partnered with Tennis Manitoba this spring to offer a variety of tennis programs for various ages and skill levels. Whether you have played before, are looking to improve your game, or just want some fun exercise, there is a program for you.

The spring evening sessions start the second week in May and run for eight weeks. The program fee is $60, where participants can choose from beginner or intermediate FUNdamentals programs, or take part in Cardio tennis to get a high energy aerobic workout. 

Participating locations include Corydon Community Centre, Linden Woods Community Centre, Notre Dame Community Centre, Riverview Community Centre, Valley Gardens Community Centre, and Windsor Community Centre. 

For additional information visit 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April College Tennis Recap

Here is a college tennis update on Manitoba student athletes currently playing in the U.S. as part of NCAA programs.

Feel free to share, like, retweet, favorite or add comment to show your support.

Get more Manitoba student-athlete #CollegeTennis updates on Twitter.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Clinic introduces elementary students to tennis

Carman Elementary students enjoyed their introductory tennis lessons from Tennis Manitoba instructor Marlon Goldburn. Here, he talks to them about safety and the importance of not waving your racket around when you don't need to.

Courtesty of Emily Distefano, The Carman Valley Leader

Carman Elementary School students were treated to a 2-day tennis clinic last week.

CES’s physical education specialist Gordon Stobbe found out through Tennis Manitoba that they were offering school clinics as a way to introduce grassroots tennis to communities, and he thought it would be a great opportunity for Carman kids.

“I think that tennis can be a lifetime sport and it’s a great way for kids just to try a new skill,” he said. “We’ve got wonderful tennis courts that we don’t see an awful lot of kids on, so maybe this will be a seed-planting opportunity.”

Marlon Goldburn, a community development manager at Tennis Manitoba, came out on April 15 and 16 to teach students in grade one through six the fundamentals of the game.

“My goal in going around to communities like this is to plant that seed, to do my part for the Sport for Life model and add another notch of physical literacy to the kids’ knowledge base. And to help grow the general tennis population,” he said.

Progressive tennis model

He explained that Tennis Manitoba uses a progressive tennis model that includes modified equipment like smaller rackets, low-bounce balls, and mini nets.

“Fortunately for kids in this era, there is what we call progressive tennis equipment, like balls that bounce slower,” he said. “So they allow the kids to get to them and they’re not just hitting a green ball that a pro would use and spending half a day chasing it. It’s more constructive play.”

As players learn more skills, they can move up to more advanced equipment.

Stobbe would like to make the tennis clinic an annual event, and he is planning to add tennis to the physical education curriculum at CES next year.

“I want to add a tennis unit based on age and appropriateness and we want to have more tennis lessons introduced into our physical education curriculum,” he said.

He noted that Sport Manitoba provided some of the funding for the clinic, and the Manitoba Phys. Ed. Teachers Association gave the school a grant for some extra equipment.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Waschuk named to All-GLVC squad

Evann Waschuk of the Bellarmine University women's tennis
 team was named to the Great Lakes Valley Conference
All-Conference Team.

By Bellarmine University

ST. LOUIS--The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced its annual awards tonight at the GLVC Tennis Championship banquet on Thursday night, and Bellarmine women's tennis player Evann Waschuk was named to the All-Conference Team. The 16-member All-GLVC squad combines eight individuals from the East and West divisions.

Waschuk, a junior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, put together an impressive resume during the 2013-14 regular season when she went 10-4 in singles and teamed with Michelle McFerran to post a 9-4 record in doubles.

Bellarmine opens GLVC Championship play Friday at noon as the No. 3 seed from the East and they will play Missouri-St. Louis, the West's No. 2 seed.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Norwood Kids Team Tennis

Norwood Kids Team Tennis starts this May at the
Norwood Community Center in Winnipeg, MB.
The Norwood Community Center will be running a spring and fall team tennis program for kids aged 7 years of age up to 14 years old. The program takes place Monday evenings and starts early May, and runs until the end of June, then will recommence in September.

The program is specifically designed to introduce kids to playing tennis in a ‘learn to play – play to learn’ environment and is open to all levels of players. Modified equipment, including smaller racquets, larger balls and smaller court area will be used to help kids progress.

The program fee is only $40, and includes a cool T-shirt and some other goodies. For additional details, please contact Brian Pound at (204) 231-3383 or at

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Norwood Wheelchair Tennis Program

Tennis Manitoba along with Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association will be hosting a wheelchair program for kids and adults at the Norwood Community Center. The program runs on Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 7pm, starting May 15th.

If you are interested in the wheelchair tennis program, or know someone that is, please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or for additional details.

Monday, 31 March 2014

March College Tennis Recap

Here is a college tennis update on Manitoba student athletes currently playing in the U.S. as part of NCAA programs.

Feel free to share, like, retweet, favorite or add comment to show your support.

Get more Manitoba student-athlete #CollegeTennis updates on Twitter.