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.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Manitobans Shine at Under 12 Nationals

Sabrina Alano, with Team Prairies coach Jared Connell,
 was the 2nd Flight champion at the Rogers U12
Junior National Championships in Calgary, AB.

Manitoba juniors fared well at the 2014 Rogers U12 Indoor Junior National Championships, which wraps up today at the Tennis Academy in Calgary, Alberta.

After early round robin play, all three juniors from Winnipeg were able to avoid the bottom flight draw, which is often filled by participants from smaller population provinces.

Leading the charge was Marcello Audino, who went 2 - 1 in his preliminary round robin matches to qualify for the boys' championship flight. Marcello ended up with a 13th-16th placement, which should give him strong seeding consideration at the Under 12 Nationals which take place this summer in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

It was Sabrina Alano who brought home the hardware, going 4 - 2 in her singles matches to win the second flight championship.

The youngest member of Team Prairies, a team comprised of six juniors from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, was 9-year-old Reece Carter who went 3 - 3 in match play. Reece managed to win the second flight consolations while attending her first Canadian Nationals.

In other nationals competition, Winnipeggers Anna Gavalova, Cole Lacap and Jennifer Wang particpated in the Rogers U16 Indoor Junior Nationals held at Club de tennis Île-des-Soeurs in Montreal. Next week Maya Arksey, Daniel Gharagozloo and Mackenzie Miller will travel to Vancouver for the Under 14 Nationals, while Zack Baron, Shrey Gupta and Cole Lacap participate in the Under 18 Nationals which take place in Markham.

Many of the nationally competitive Manitoba juniors are members of the Tennis Manitoba Provincial Team, which is coached by Jared Connell. The Team has weekly on court practices, fitness sessions, and travels together for out-of-province competition.

Junior qualifying for this summer`s outdoor nationals starts with tournaments scheduled on the 2014 Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour. For more details visit

See also: 2014 Rogers Indoor Junior Nationals photo album

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

2014 Interlake Mini-Paralymian Camp

Come out to Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association's Mini-Paralymian Camp in the Interlake on April 12 & May 24. Partnering organizations are Tennis Manitoba and Archers & Bowhunters Association of Manitoba to facilitate Wheelchair Tennis, Para Archery and Wheelchair Basketball. More at 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Winnipegger Kylar traded shots with Djokovic

Winnipegger Kevin Kylar rubbed shoulders with some of the
best tennis players in the world last week.

Local warmed up world No. 2 prior to $1-M win

By Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press

Novak Djokovic hit some tennis balls with Winnipegger Kevin Kylar for about 45 minutes on Sunday and then went out and won $1 million.

The world's No. 2-ranked player from Serbia defeated living legend Roger Federer from Switzerland 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif.

Unfortunately for the 19-year-old Kylar, who worked as a practice and hitting partner last week for the men and women at arguably the biggest non-Grand Slam tennis tournament in the world, he didn't work on a commission basis.

In fact, he and the other 10 or so hitting partners didn't earn a dime for their sweat equity, but they did make a few bucks in tips.

"(The tournament organizers) called me Saturday afternoon and asked if I wanted to warm up Djokovic at 11 o'clock on the stadium court. Of course, I said, 'Yes,' " Kylar said.

"It was a little bit surreal. You watch the guy on TV so many times and suddenly you're hitting with him. The first (rally) we hit the ball 50 times over the net. He doesn't miss and I tried my best not to miss. But once you get through thinking who he is, it becomes just like any other practice.


Kylar, the No. 1 player in the province who won his second Manitoba Open singles title last summer, played in the pre-qualifying event at Indian Wells, losing in the third round.

Some of the other players he hit with include Russia's Dmitry Tursunov and Svetlana Kuznetsova and Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

He has come a long way since he was a wide-eyed kid wandering around the grounds thanks to his dad, longtime Winnipeg tennis pro George Kylar, who has strung racquets for the players at Indian Wells for many years.

(The elder Kyler strung about 300 racquets during the week.)

It's hard to put a price on what his experience at Indian Wells will be worth or how it will impact Kylar's game but he's hoping it will show up on the courts this summer.

"Some of the coaches gave me a few pointers of what I could work on. When you play three or four hours a day, it helps regardless of who you're playing with, then you throw in that these are the best players in the world," he said.

Kylar may be in further demand on the practice court as Djokovic wasn't his only partner who experienced great success last week. He hit regularly with the big surprise in the women's draw, Italy's Camila Giorgi, who lost in the fourth round after beating Maria Sharapova.

"I wouldn't say no if somebody asked me. I don't know if I would fly somewhere just to be a hitting partner. Maybe," he said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2014 D2

View Manitobans at the BNP Paribas Open photo album.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tuxedo Tennis Club Manager Opening

Tuxedo Tennis Club is looking to hire a club manager to handle club operations for the up-coming 2014 outdoor tennis season. The club is a non-profit, public/private club that promotes fitness, recreation, community, and the sport of tennis. Located just off of Corydon Avenue, near Kenaston Blvd in Winnipeg, the club has 6 courts, and many activities and programs for active children, teens and adults.

The work hours for the club manager position could vary from week to week and will involve weekdays, evenings, weekends, and holiday hours. This is an excellent opportunity for a recreation studies or business student to gain valuable managerial and customer service experience.

You can get additional position details at

Closing date is March 31st.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Twitter Recap: World Tennis Day

World Tennis Day in Winnipeg

By Geoff Kirbyson

Some things are just to crazy (or insane) to ignore.

Mark Arndt, Tennis Manitoba's executive director, called me up a week ago with an idea. He wanted to make the coolest video of any tennis organization on the planet for World Tennis Day.

Knowing we only have a couple of indoor clubs in town, I wondered what he could possibly have in mind.

Then he told me he wanted to go to an outdoor club and play tennis in the snow. This, during the coldest winter of out lifetimes.

Somehow this wasn't going to end well.

A quick call to one of the Free Press's video producers, Tyler Walsh, and we were on. Tyler is particularly fond of video projects where there's a good chance that I could get hurt. Losing a limb to frostbite fit the bill.

The idea was we would simulate a game in the snow. Who else in the world would be clever/stupid enough to think of this? Ahem.

We met Mark, Tennis Manitoba president, Bruce Waschuk, and Lillian Wong at Tuxedo Tennis Club last Friday. I believe it was about -45 with the windchill and I had forgotten my Sorel boots at home.

Mark looked like he was preparing to take part in the Iditarod while Lillian went all out and was wearing a tennis skirt over her pants and a visor. Bruce had just come from a meeting, so he was about as unprepared as I was.

Still, the plan was to shoot a 45-second video, how long could this take?

About an hour, we discovered. Normally a cameraman can change his location in a matter of seconds by taking a few quick steps. When those steps involve leaping through thigh-deep snow, well, it takes time.

It also uses up body heat, we quickly discovered.

We started out as any doubles game would with the spin for serve. Bruce and I won and elected to receive. Not surprisingly, Mark hit three consecutive aces. But for Tyler to get all the appropriate angles, Mark probably had to hit about 40 serves. (A similar number of balls will be found on Court 6 in the spring once the snow melts.)

At this point, my toes had switched from freezing to sort of warm. Isn't that a sign that they're totally frozen? I wondered what it was like getting fitted for prosthetic toes.

Now we had to shoot a few diving volleys. Mark was quickly volunteered and nodded his agreement even though he couldn't hear us because of the thick layer of Vaseline coating his entire head. (One of diving stabs even hit Tyler's camera smack-dab on the lens.)

Finally, we were done. If hypothermia hadn't set in, we would have sprinted off the court. As it was, we made it off in slow motion looking like we'd been hit with sedative darts.

I think I'll keep one of those handy the next time Mark has an idea.

See YouTube video and photo album

See also Twitter Recap: World Tennis Day