HOW MANY SPORTS can be played by people of all ages - literally from under six years old to over eighty years young - the way tennis can? • How many can be played just as easily indoors or outdoors, the way tennis can, to make it a year-round sport anywhere in the world?
• How many sports are so flexible as to be played individually (singles), in pairs (doubles) or in teams? • How many can be adapted so easily to meet the needs of the physically challenged, particularly to those confined to a wheelchair, the way tennis can, to truly make it a sport for people of all levels of ability? • How many games can be played on as many different surfaces, from outdoor grass to indoor carpet,
TJj SPORT »L« LIF E TI m E
AN ADVERTISING AND INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT TO THE JULY 12 ISSUE OF MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE.
THE MAIN MAN: Lome Main of Aurora, Ont., the reigning world over-60 tennis champion, reflects on his teenage years when he won the Canadian Junior International title in 1946, 1947 and 1948. Photograph: RonTurenne
and from red or green clay to pavement? • How many are convertible in the way tennis is to mini-tennis, a miniature version of the full-court game which meets the needs of young children, complete with smaller racquets, lighter balls and compact playing areas? • How many are as popular in as many countries, on as many continents? How many sports transcend ethnicity and origin the way tennis does? How many are played almost equally by men and women - 52 to 48 per cent in Canada - and as comparably at the highest levels of professional sport? • And while we’re at it, how many sports are as well-organized across all age groups around the world so as to produce a player who could win international titles six decades apart?
The fact is, there is nothing quite like the many permutations of tennis, which is aptly described by those close to it as “The Sport of a Lifetime.” And there are not many lifetime players who can rival the accomplishments of Lome Main of Aurora, Ont.
Main exemplifies tennis as “The Sport of a Lifetime”.
Today he is a 63-year-old right-hander who teaches tennis at the Timberlane Club north of Toronto: The nineties represent his seventh decade of tennis.
He first made his mark as a wide-eyed Vancouver teenager when tournament play resumed after the Second World War. In the summer of ’46, he won what would be his first of a record three
WHEELCHAIR TENNIS: Wheelchair tennis is one of the most popular sport applications for physically challenged athletes in Canada and around the world.
consecutive singles titles at the Canadian Junior International, the under-18 Canadian Open.
Main went on to represent Canada in the Davis Cup men’s world team tennis championships while still in his teens. In fact, until Sebastien Lareau of Boucherville, Que., and Daniel Nestor of North York came around in the 1990s, Main’s debut at the age of 19 years and two I months was the youngest by a Canadian in Davis Cup competition.
He travelled the international circuit in the 1950s, winning tournament titles in Brussels and Monte Carlo in 1954.
What makes Main’s life in tennis all the more remarkable is what he’s still doing today, 47 years after his first Canadian Junior International crown in 1946.
The model of physical fitness to a generation of silver foxes, Main is the reigning world over-60 singles and doubles champion, having swept top honors on the red clay courts of Barcelona at the
WINNING FOR CANADA: Main and Ken Sinclair, also of Aurora, stand together after winning the world over-60 doubles championship in Barcelona earlier this year. Of the 14 world titles won by Canada or Canadians, Main has figured in 12 of them;
Sinclair in eight!
Photograph: George Carter
102 YEARS AND COUNTING Formed in 1890, Tennis Canada is one of the largest and oldest national sports associations in the country. Tennis Canada is a full member of the International Tennis Federation and operates the Player’s Ltd. International Canadian Open for men as part of the IBM/ATP Tour and the Matinée Ltd. International Canadian Open and Bell Challenge for women as part of the Kraft Tour.
PART OF SPORT CANADA Tennis Canada is part of Sport Canada and is a member of the Sports Federation of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Association. Its membership is made up of the 10 provincial tennis associations, which are partners in much of its programming, most notably SYSTEM ’96, the blueprint for an integrated sport system for Canadian tennis.
THE PLAYER DEVELOPMENT DIVISION The Player Development Division of Tennis Canada manages a wide range of developmental programs under the umbrella of SYSTEM ’96, the plan to build an integrated sport system for Canadian tennis. The three main areas of emphasis are: 1. Youth Development (Kids’ Tennis); 2. Team Development (Team Canada); 3. Coaching Certification and Development.
THE EVENTS DIVISION
The Events Division of Tennis Canada is directly responsible for all national tournaments and internationally-sanctioned competitions held m Canada, including such major championships as the Player’s Ltd. International, the Matinée Ltd. International, the Bell Challenge women’s indoor tennis championships and the SunLife Nationals. It also operates the Philips Junior Nationals and Philips Junior International, the Martini Masters and senior indoor nationals, along with other events on the international schedule, such as ATP Tour/ITF Futures Challengers (Circuit KSwiss) and ITF Satellite tournaments (Circuit Slazenger).
Tennis Canada coordinates a series of other special initiatives to assist in the promotion and development of Canadian tennis: Canadian Tennis Week; Tennis Canada Excellence Awards; Hall of
Li! SPORT ILL LIFETimE
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: Jennifer Capriati, the tennis gold medallist in Barcelona, is one of the leading young lights in women’s professional tennis, while Andre Agassi (inset) is perhaps the best known tennis player in the world. They reflect the popularity of tennis at the professional level for both men and women. Both will be playing under Canadian marquees this summer: Agassi at the Player’s Ltd. International July 22August 1 at Montreal’s Jarry Tennis Stadium and Capriati at the Matinée Ltd. International August 14-22 at the National Tennis Centre at York University. Photograph: Ron Turenne
International Tennis Federation senior championships in April. He won the singles by defeating Henri Cruchet of France, 6-3, 6-3. And he added the doubles by teaming up with his long-time partner, Ken Sinclair of Aurora, to beat Werner Mertins of Germany
Fame of Canadian Tennis; Tennis Canada Computer Rankings; Tennis Canada Library; Tennis Canada Yearbook; and Tennis Communique.
PLAYER’S LTD. INTERNATIONAL The $2.1 million Player’s Ltd. International heads into 1993 as one of only nine single-week tournaments on the IBM/ATP Tour Championship Series and, as such, is part of what is being billed as the Super Nine in men’s professional tennis. The Player’s Ltd. International, which dates back to 1881 and is the world’s third longest-running major championship behind only Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, will be played July 22-August 1 at Montreal’s Jarry Tennis Stadium. Tickets are available at (800) 361-4595 or (514) 790-1245.
MATINEE LTD. INTERNATIONAL The $950,000 Matinée Ltd. International is part of the Kraft Tour’s 1993 series of Blockbuster Events, which includes the four Grand Slams, Lipton, the seven Tier I championships and the year-ending WTA Tour Championships. The Matinée Ltd. championships, which date back to 1892, are scheduled for August 14-22 at the National Tennis Centre at York University. Tickets are available at TicketMaster outlets or by telephoning (416) 872-5000.
and Istvan Gulyas of Hungary.
The wins reinforced Main’s status as the premier over-60 tennis player on the planet. It’s a well deserved reputation that dates back to 1986 when he defeated former Australian great Frank Sedgman to win the ITF over-55 singles championship in Poertschach, Austria.
Since then, Main has won two over-60 singles honors, his first coming two years ago on grass in Perth, Australia. With Sinclair - another phenomenal lifetime athlete who played his first tennis tournament at the age of 32 - Main has captured one over-55 doubles title and three over-60 doubles crowns. The two served as the mainstays of four Austria Cups, the Davis Cup for over-55s, in the latter half of the 1980s. And last summer, they gave Canada top honors at the Von Cramm Cup over-60 world team tennis championships.
In fact, of the 14 world tennis titles won by Canada or Canadians, Main has figured in 12 of them. He is, on record, our most successful
BELL CHALLENGE WOMEN’S INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS Canada gets its second berth on the Kraft Tour Oct. 30 - Nov. 7 when the $190,000 Bell Challenge women’s indoor tennis championships hit Club Avantage in Quebec City. The Tier III event is the second last women’s tournament before the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in New York City, Nov. 15-21.
XEROX LEGENDS OF TENNIS The Xerox Legends of Tennis will bring together many of the top men’s players in the history of the open era of tennis, July 22-25 at Montreal’s Jarry Tennis Stadium. The Xerox Legends, which will make its debut as part of the fledgling ATP Senior Tour, will be presented in conjunction with the Player’s Ltd. International and will involve 16 former greats in both singles and doubles.
Little wonder he was among the inaugural slate of inductees into the Hall of Fame of Canadian Tennis in 1991, an enshrinement which acknowledged him as one of the most successful players in the first 100 years of tennis history in this country.
This year he was named the honorary chairperson of Canadian Tennis Week, the week-long celebration of “The Sport of a Lifetime.”
PHILIPS JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL The Philips Junior International, the under-18 Canadian Open for boys and girls from around the world, is one of the top events on the ITF Junior Circuit, coming as it does immediately prior to the fourth and final Junior Grand Slam event, the U.S. Junior Open. Parc Larochelle in Repentigny, Que. has served as host site since 1986.
LIF E TI m E
What better way to pay tribute to an athlete who is as good at his calling today as he was in his teens?
“Lome is a living example of how well organized senior tennis is and that it’s simply never too late to start playing,” says Bob Moffatt, the President of Tennis Canada and a former Canadian junior champion himself.
“I really love the game,” said Main, an everyday player who logs considerable court time at Timberlane and other clubs in the Toronto area. “I enjoy it as much now as I did when I was a junior. I suppose my involvement at so many different levels of tennis over so many years has left me with a strong sense of just how great a game it is. Tennis really is a lifetime sport.”
KIDS’ TENNIS: Mini-tennis has helped attract young children to the sport, preparing them for transition to the fullcourt game. It is played with a junior racquet, foam or intermediate tennis balls and on half or quarter courts. With the lighter equipment, children as young as six can learn basic tennis skills.
Main may be Canada’s most famous veteran player. Yet he is merely at the vanguard of an increasingly significant category of Canadian tennis players. They are seniors. Seven times out of 10, they are urban seniors. Those who haven’t reached the retirement age are most often professionals, managers and entrepreneurs. They’re above-average income earners. They’re well-educated; more than 50 per cent of the time at the university
level. And they’re typically very international in their outlook, with most having done their fair share of travel, even by standards which pit Canadians near the top of that class.
What they keep coming back to is the tennis court.
Toronto actor Jan Rubes, best-known for his film roles in movies
such as Witness with Harrison Ford and Class Action with Gene
Hackman, has played tennis for 67 of his 73 years. He is a former Canadian over-70 champion who first picked up a heavy, pear-shaped wooden racquet in the small Czech town of Volyne in 1926.
The $100,000 SunLife Nationals this week are the world’s third-largest closed national tennis championships in terms of prize money but first in terms of players’ fields, with Carling Bassett, Patricia Hy, Grant Connell, Helen Kelesi, Glenn Michibata and defending champions Andrew Sznajder and Rene Simpson Alter among the previous winners. Tickets are available at TicketMaster at (416) 872-5000 or at the Ontario Racquet Club, which has served as host since 1985, at (416) 822-5240.
PHILIPS JUNIOR NATIONALS The Philips Junior Nationals are Canada’s junior tennis championships for players under-14, under-16 and under-18. Sponsored by Philips, Reebok and the Royal Bank, the series includes three indoor tournaments (at White Oaks Racquet Club in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Ottawa Athletic Club and Carrefour in Laval, Que., and three outdoors (at the Moncton Tennis Club, Burnaby Tennis Club and Parc LaSalle in Lachine, Que.).
The Martini Masters have emerged as -The Toast of Senior Tennis, with national champions determined each year in 14 age groups-, over-35 men and women; over-40 women; over-45 men; over50 men and women; over-55 men and women; over-60 men and women; over-65 men and women; over-70 men; and over-75 men. The 1993 Martini Masters, which culminate a senior campaign that begins with indoor championships in March and April, are slated for the beautiful Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver August 2-8.
Circuit K-Swiss ’93 spans the country with a series of 10 events, featuring five world-ranking tournaments: Three ATP Tour Challengers for men and two ITF Futures Challengers for women. The $60,000 SunLife Challenger at Hazelmere in Surrey, B.C., kicked off the schedule of worldranking events for men in January. On tap this year is a $60,000 ATP Tour Challenger at Chateau Montebello July 19-25 and a $30,000 ATP Tour Challenger at the Riverside Club in Calgary, October 4-10. The sites for the two ITF Futures include Blue Mountain Resorts in Collingwood, Ont., and Unicity Racquet Club in Winnipeg August 2-8. Circuit K-Swiss ’93 also includes five $12,000 developmental tournaments for men.
Helping to groom the touring pros of tomorrow, Circuit Slazenger is a four-week series of international men’s tournaments to be held Oct. 11 -Nov. 7 at four indoor clubs in the province of
Quebec. The International Tennis Federation Satellite, which has its roots in the summer Satellite held between 1981-1991, will finish up this year at Club Avantage in Quebec City.
SYSTEM ’96 aims to build an integrated sport system for Canadian tennis. The quadrennial plan enables Tennis Canada and its provincial associations to channel their energies in the pursuit of a well-defined set of objectives: 1. To emphasize youth development and increased participation by youth in a range of tennis programs at facilities across Canada; 2. To develop national programs which provide the foundation for tennis development from entry-level to inclusion on national junior teams; 3. To identify and develop prospective athletes through a programming structure which ensures high performance results at the international level.
National initiatives in youth development are grouped under the banner of Kids’ Tennis and are targeted to children aged six to 14. The Kids’ Tennis spectrum ranges from provincial elementary school programs and mini-tennis in municipal parks and clubs to under-14 club training programs and Youth Tennis Centres, year-round facilities which serve to anchor tennis development in their communities. Youth Tennis Centres work with neighboring parks and playgrounds and schools to introduce tennis to as many young athletes as possible.
Tennis Canada’s initiatives in national team development start with the identification of talented high-performance athletes from the youth tennis system covered by Kids’ Tennis. Selection to national teams leads to further developmental opportunities and the chance to represent Canada in international team events, ranging from the NTT Cup under-14s to Davis Cup and Federation Cup. The national teams are being regrouped under the banner of Team Canada for 1994.
SENIOR NATIONAL TEAMS Tennis Canada presents teams for play in the International Tennis Federation’s annual senior team championships. Canada has won five titles in recent years, including four straight Austria Cup over-55 men’s crowns. ITF championships are held for over-35 men (Italia Cup), over-40 women (Young Cup), over-45 men (Dubler Cup), over-50 men (Fred Perry Cup), over-50 women (Maria Esther Bueno Cup), over-55 men (Austria Cup), over-55 women (Maureen Connolly Cup), over-60 men (Von Cramm Cup), over-60 women
“One of my first tennis memories is of Jack Crawford and his extreme forehand topspin,” recalls Rubes. “He hit his backhand and forehand with the same side of the racquet.”
Six decades later, Rubes was representing Canada in the world over70 team tennis championships in Australia. The competition is named after Crawford. Rubes, who believes doubles tennis is one of the best social activities for people of all ages, says his early opera training helped his tennis and vice-versa. “I often compare opera to tennis because it is a continuous crisis,” he explains. “If you make a mistake in opera, you can’t stop the conductor to do it over. In tennis, you have to move on to the next point as well. That always helped my concentration.”
LIF E T I m E
Rubes, who says tennis tests intellect, cunning and both physical and mental conditioning, still plays tennis four to five times per week. When filming on location, he makes sure there’s a tennis court nearby. His favorite partner for mixed doubles is, of course, his wife, the equally established stage actress Susan Rubes.
Much the same goes for Regina-born Michael Burgess, the stage actor who has played everything from Shakespeare to Pinocchio, to his highly-acclaimed portrayal of Jean Valjean in the Canadian production of Les Miserables.
“I follow tennis even when I don’t have time to play,” says Burgess, “Maybe it’s because there are some similarities with what we do in acting in terms of mental concentration and rehearsal and so on. I have great respect for the athletes.”
Although he was first drawn to hockey and other team sports as a west end Toronto teenager, tennis became his favorite sport. “It was
Main and Don McCormick of Vancouver are the only two Canadians to have won world singles tennis titles. Main has three — one over-55 and two in over-60-while McCormick captured top honors in over-45 two years ago in Australia.
LEGENDARY: Australian great Rod Laver exemplifies the increasing popularity of senior tennis around the world. The former Grand Slam champion brings his gameto Montreal for the Xerox Legends of Tennis, to be held July 22-25 in conjunction with the Player’s Ltd.
International at Jarry Tennis Stadium, July 22 - August 1.
'lí SPORT °L? I i F E T I Ui E
SENIOR CITIZENS: Among those addicted to tennis Is Toronto actor Michael Burgess.
unique because of the individual challenge,” says Burgess. “You are out there on your own and at a basic level, you are playing against yourself.” Another who has maintained a competitive spirit all his life is long-time sports journalist George Gross, the corporate sports editor of Sun newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. As a 15 year old on his first trip away from home, the Bratislava-born Gross encountered Czech great Jaroslav Drobny in the Czechoslovakian junior championships. Gross remembers Drobny winning, 6-1, 6-3. He is also quick to point out Drobny went on to win Wimbledon in 1954.
“The fitness side of tennis is very important to me,” notes Gross, who turned 70 this year. “I don’t like running three miles on the road, but I can play three hours of tennis. The average match time is an hour. That’s what makes tennis great for most working people. You play, shower for 15 minutes and you’re out in an hour and a half. Golf is a five to six hour job.”
Despite her busy schedule, Montreal commercial real estate executive Jacqueline Boutet, a member of the Board of Directors of Tennis Canada, finds time to play two to three nights per week. For her, it’s been a lifetime habit: She started playing at the age of five. “I play primarily for physical fitness and I usually play singles,” said Boutet, whose average match keeps her on court for between 90 minutes and two hours. “But I find it a very clever sport. It helps to keep me mentally and socially sharp as well.”
Francois Godbout, a former member of Canada’s Davis Cup men’s national team, who rose to prominence as lawyer for the City of Montreal and is now a judge in the Quebec juvenile court, is more philosophical. “Tennis is an excellent outlet for the trials and tribulations of life,” he says. “Interests change but the need for physical fitness and exercise becomes only more important.”
Godbout, who served as president of Tennis Canada from 1985 to 1987, says he has rediscovered tennis. “I have more need for it now at the age of 55 than I did at 25, especially for my heart, circulation and my system. And the universality of tennis will allow me to keep playing. Because of the structure of age category competition around the world, I’ll continue to rediscover friends whom I played against many years ago. ■
(Alice Marble Cup), over 65 men (Britannia Cup) and over-70 men (Crawford Cup).
COACHING AND RESEARCH Coaching development is a major flank of SYSTEM ‘96. The new Tennis Canada Coaching Certification Program has been developed with the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and is part of the NCCP. Certification clinics are run by the various provincial tennis associations.
Tennis Canada also organizes a series of coaching conferences.
CANADIAN TENNIS WEEK
Held in June of each year, Canadian Tennis Week celebrates The Family Sport of a Lifetime through a series of activities aimed at introducing people to tennis. Canadian Tennis Week promotes the sport as an excellent means to physical fitness and one that can be played by people of all ages and levels of ability.
Tennis Canada runs several programs to recognize excellence on and off the court, including the Tennis Canada Excellence Awards, which are presented to leading players, coaches and volunteers on an annual basis. Tennis Canada also works with the Sports Federation of Canada and other groups to honor achievements by athletes and teams on an ongoing basis.
HALL OF FAME OF CANADIAN TENNIS Each year, Tennis Canada and its member provincial associations pay tribute to the sport’s leading contributors by inducting deserving nominees into the Hall of Fame of Canadian Tennis in categories for both players and builders. Plans call for the creation of an official Hall of Fame Museum.
The progress of Canada’s top tennis players is measured by the Tennis Canada Computer Rankings. The domestic ranking system lists over 1,000 Canadian men and women. Ranking points are given for selected tournaments sanctioned at the national and provincial levels.
Each of the above programs and events represents a step forward in the mission of Tennis Canada, which is committed to the advancement of tennis in Canada by stimulating participation and excellence in the sport at the local, provincial, national and international levels.