INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Seniors Events at Mayfair Clubs

What’s Hot in Club Programming

North Central Region AGM

Bell Challenge in Quebec City

ACE Cup Results

A.C.T.S. Fitness Centre Adds Tennis

In Memorium: Vivian Varnum C.A. 1954-2004

Babolat Appoints Ontario Rep.

Notes and Apologies

Volunteer of the Month

Seniors Events at Mayfair Clubs

A Senior Fall Classic tournament was held at Mayfair West the weekend of November 12 -14. Twenty three men battled for honours in the over 35 and over 45 events. Kent Marley, a newcomer to the seniors tennis scene took the honours in the over 35 event, beating Sal Portugal in the final.

Pictured here are Peter Bonfa (left) and Allan Care who were the finalists in the over 45 event. Allan Care took the title. A hard fought semifinal match between Peter and Yuri Kotik rendered them both unfit for play on Sunday.

We are pleased to announce that the Wilson/Mayfair Senior Circuit is back for the 4th year in 2005. This four event senior tour is part of the World-wide ITF Vets Circuit which has been up-graded to a Level 3 event this year. There will be more than $13,000 in prize money. There are prizes for individual events as well as overall circuit winners. The events are Over 35 and 45 men’s and women’s singles and over 55 and 65 men`s singles. The final event (March 18-20) will include men`s and women`s doubles. There is a consolation event for all singles categories and all levels of player are welcome. There’s great tennis to watch as well as play. Why not pop these dates and locations in your calendar right now?

Over 35 and over 65 events will take place at Mayfair West on Jan 7-9, Mayfair East on Jan 28-30, Mayfair West on Feb 18-20 and Mayfair Lakeshore on Mar 18-20.

Over 45 and over 55 events will take place at Mayfair Lakeshore on Jan 7-9, Mayfair West on Jan 28-30, Mayfair East on Feb 18-20 and Mayfair Parkway on Mar 18-20.

To receive the entry flyer or to enter please contact Irwin Tobias.

What’s Hot in Club Programming

The Ajax Tennis Club has it figured out. Pros John Long and Brian Hurd (new daddy to Charlotte Jane Hurd, 8lbs, 6oz, born on November 15 04!) have designed a program that caters to the diverse needs of their club players. For the past nine years, Ajax has been running its very successful Tennis Aerobics Clinic, the brainchild of pro John Long.

John, who also is an avid golf player, wanted to create a tennis program that replicated the driving range. In golf, you can go out to a driving range, hit balls, improve your skills and do so in a no pressure environment but in tennis, whenever you hit with an opponent, there’s always the pressure to perform/win. John’s idea was simple: Get players on the court, whatever their level, feed them the balls they’d get in a game and most of all, get them moving!

In the one hour session, participants are led through heart-pumping, fast thinking drills to improve their skills at the baseline, midcourt, net play, overheads and whatever else gets thrown their way. There are 8 participants per session. John estimates that of all the participants 60% are women, 30% men and 10% junior players but whatever the level of play, everyone walks away with a tennis workout.

For Carol Claque, who is returning to the sport after a 30 year hiatus, the Tennis Aerobics Program is a perfect fit. “I wanted to practice, get the fitness aspect, enjoy the social side and John and Brian give such positive reinforcement.” Each turn at net sees the participant hit eight balls and as Carol says, “there’s no slacking off. The pros are tough on the players while always letting you know what you did right - or wrong.” For the $6 charge ($10 non-members), this is a deal for players wanting to get a workout, improve skills and have some fun without having to worry about finding an opponent, booking a court and remembering to bring a can of balls. For more information check out Ajax Tennis Club or call 905-427-2581.

Thanks to Sharon Martineau for this report and photo!

North Central Region AGM

The OTA North Central Region had a successful Annual General Meeting in Collingwood in November. Approximately 20 members attended the meeting, which was held in the Monterra Conference Centre. Some of the folks stayed overnight in the Georgian Resort which sits on the base of the mountain. The rooms truly were beautiful with fireplace and small kitchenette. If you ever have a chance to stay overnight in Collingwood, this is the place to stay.

Malcolm Still spoke to the group on his tenure as President. Everyone enjoyed his presentation so much he was allowed to overrun the 20 minutes allotted to him to speak. Scott Fraser from the Markham Tennis Club was awarded the honours of "Volunteer of the Year" for the region and he received an OTA crested FILA track suit, hat and mug for all his efforts over the years.

After lunch the group played tennis at the Monterra Tennis Club from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. The feedback from the group was positive and the location and weather was superb. Glenna Poick, Chair of the OTA North Central Region, pictured centre, is planning to go back to Collingwood to host their region tournament in March 2005.

Bell Challenge in Quebec City

For those who like to watch tennis the Bell Challenge held each fall in Quebec City is a great opportunity to see the best up and coming women. Gavin Murphy of Ottawa sent us this report on his trip to Quebec City and this exciting event.

Martina Sucha, a 23-year-old rising star from Slovakia, captured her second WTA tour singles title by defeating America’s Abigail Spears 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Bell Challenge tennis tournament in Québec City in November. Sucha, ranked 72nd on the WTA tour and making her second appearance in Québec, won her first singles crown in 2002 in Hobart, Australia. She replaces Russia’s Maria Sharapova as the reigning champion in Québec.

“It’s been a long time since my first title,” Sucha said. “This tournament is bigger than Hobart, but I can’t compare the two because both of them are very special.”

The doubles final saw Argentina’s Maria-Emilia Salerni and Carly Gullickson from the USA win their first doubles title as a team by downing the duo of Els Callens from Belgium and Australia’s Samantha Stosur in a score of 7-5, 7-5.

Two of this year’s outstanding performers came from the qualifying rounds of play. Canada’s Melanie Gloria, a 17 year-old from Montreal ranked 1123rd and clearly a crowd favourite, advanced from the qualifying rounds to the quarter finals of the main draw before falling to Salerni in a score of 6-4, 6-0. Spears, a 23-year-old Californian ranked 118th, moved all the way from the qualifying rounds to the tournament finals before losing to Sucha.

There were no players from Ontario in the main draw of singles play, but Kitchener’s Aneta Soukup progressed from the qualifying rounds to the quarter finals of doubles play, where she and her partner Katerina Bondarenko from Ukraine were defeated by Callens and Stosur by a score of 6-4, 7-5.

The level of play at this year’s Bell Challenge was exceptional, and the tournament featured veteran competitors such as France’s Mary Pierce and Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova. It also attracted several up-and-coming players. One new player to watch out for is 15-year-old Lauren Shumate (see photo) from Bradenton, Florida. Attending this year’s Bell Challenge as an alternate and ranked 1003rd, she is a powerful hitter who will only get better with time and experience.

The Bell Challenge, presented by Cisco Systems, was held indoors on two deco turf hard courts at the Club Avantage Multi-Sports. This year’s event, the 12th edition of the Tier III WTA tournament, offered total prize money of US $170,000 and drew about 25,000 spectators.

ACE Cup Results

The ACE Cup is an important youth development event featuring players 11 years old and younger from Team Ontario and Team Quebec. ACE Tennis Academy, which operates out of Cedar Springs Racquet and Sports Club in Burlington, is the official host along with the Ontario Tennis Association. OTA Provincial Coach David DeFehr was especially impressed with the Ontario boys and a couple of the top Quebec girls. "Team Ontario has much more depth on the boys side this year, while Quebec appears to have two or three outstanding young girls," commented David.

Team Quebec won the 4th annual ACE Cup Under-12 Invitational Tennis Team event. Individual honours in singles play went to Michael Kachkar of Toronto and Elisabeth Abanda of Montreal. Kachkar came back to defeat Damien David of Quebec in the finals 4-6,6-3,6-3. Abanda dominated throughout the tournament including a 6-1,6-1 victory over teammate Marianne Jodoin in the girls final. Alexander DeJordy of Toronto and David Vieyra of Mississauga won the boys doubles, with Jodoin and Laurie Gingras of Quebec taking the girls doubles.

Some of the young players from Ontario are pictured here. Left to right: Elianne Douglas-Miron, Amy He, Ross Lai and Louise Kwong.

This event is a prelude to the 2005 Under-12 season. It featured many of the best young players in Canada. For more information check out the OTA web site www.tennisontario.com or call (416) 426-7135.

A.C.T.S. Fitness Centre Adds Tennis

Winter Tennis is now available at A.C.T.S. “Headwaters’ Family Fitness & Tennis”. On Saturday, November 27th A.C.T.S. officially opened the doors of its brand new tennis dome to the public. This state of the art facility features four indoor tennis courts and will provide year-round, climate-controlled tennis services to the Greater Dufferin area, thereby filling a winter tennis service void in the region for up to 400 members. Tennis memberships have been available for purchase since the spring, but since the structure was raised a few weeks ago, memberships sales have increased dramatically with new members joining nearly every day.

The tennis addition to the A.C.T.S. facility on Highway 9 at Heart Lake Road adds 24,000 square feet to the current facilities, bringing the size of the expansive fitness and athletics complex to a total of 53,000 square feet. A.C.T.S has added professional tennis instruction, testing, group clinics, competitive ladders, round robins and regularly scheduled inter-club tournaments for members who wish to participate. A.C.T.S. Tennis Director Sean Johnny will be overseeing all tennis-related services and programming at the new facility.

A Grand Opening event was held on Saturday, November 27th which was attended by many Greater Dufferin area residents, as well as a number of public servants, including: Keith Thompson, Warden of Dufferin County and Mayor of Mono, Marolyn Morrison, Mayor of Caledon, and David Tilson, Federal Member of Parliament for the Dufferin-Caledon region. The event featured clinics, skills testing with prizes, a round robin, and an exhibition doubles match pitting A.C.T.S. tennis staff against Chris Pridham and Hatem McDadi – two former Canadian Davis Cup team members.

To inquire about the facilities, services and programs available at A.C.T.S., please call (519) 940-3735.

In Memorium: Vivian Varnum C.A. 1954-2004

Vivian Varnum, a dedicated tennis player, Boulevard Club member, great friend and loving wife passed away from cancer in October 2004.

A member of the Boulevard Club since 1977, Vivian enjoyed social tennis but never missed a competitive event or club tournament. She won frequently in both singles and doubles categories. For years she played in (and captained) the Toronto Ladies Monday night team at Boulevard, while also playing Intercounty Mixed at Boulevard and earlier at Howard Park Tennis Club.

Vivian was a team player in the truest sense of the word - an enthusiastic competitor who believed in commitment and good sportsmanship. These qualities served her well as a member of the Tennis Committee prior to joining the Board of Directors from 1992-98 and serving as President in 1998 and 1999. Vivian was a driving force for the Boulevard Club renewal project, which will be inaugurated in December 2004. She gave unselfishly of her time, significant business and social skill for the benefit of those around her.

Babolat Appoints Ontario Rep.

Brian Caulfield has recently been appointed the Babolat representative for Ontario. His experience in retail business since 1989 and stringing racquets at tournaments since 1997 has made him very familiar with Babolat products. Brian has also done customizing work for Babolat players on the ATP tour.

Brian considers his new position to be an exciting opportunity to be involved with this company that is making a quick and successful entrance into the Ontario market and he is looking forward to building even greater awareness of the brand that covers much more than just racquets and strings. His knowledge of Babolat products is something that he believes will help him take the brand to the next level.

When he was 20 years old, Brian had no choice but to learn to play - he already knew everything he needed to know about racquets and stringing through his work. He fell in love with the game and never looked back. You can reach Brian by e-mail, at babolatrep@yahoo.ca or at 416 526 9908.

Notes and Apologies

Please accept our apologies for the `empty` e-magazine that was distributed accidentally in the middle of November when our server was being updated.

In the fall issue of Ontario Tennis magazine we announced that the OTA would be moving to the Rexall Centre effective Jan 1, 2005. This move has been delayed. We`ll keep you posted as to when the move will take place.

We are going to be updating the e-magazine format early in 2005. If you have any thoughts on how the e-magazine could be improved and what kind of items you most like to see, please let us know.

In this e-magazine we included reports from some friends of tennis. Please feel free to send us your news items and any reports you think would be of interest to other tennis enthusiasts in Ontario.

As this is the last e-magazine of 2004, we would like to wish you all the best for the holiday season and hope that you will have a happy, healthy and tennis-filled 2005.

Volunteer of the Month

As we come to the end of 2004, it is time to honour Malcolm Still, current President of the OTA. The volunteer position of President involves a great deal of responsibility and commitment. Although Malcolm claims the role of President has been relatively easy to fill, given the strong support he receives from his executive and the OTA staff, Malcolm is due special recognition because of the large amounts of time, effort and energy he has put into the preparation and construction of the new National Tennis Centre.

Over the past four years Malcolm has participated in hundreds of meetings with politicians from every level of Government and with people from the many organizations with a role to play in this major project. He has also been a member of several Tennis Canada committees. His involvement, often at a detailed level, has made sure that the OTA interests in the centre have been well looked after.

Earlier this year Malcolm saw some of the fruit of his labour when the Tennis Masters Canada was held at the Rexall Centre. He deserves a special thank you for his patience diligence and persistence in helping make the new National Tennis Centre a reality.


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2004 Ontario Tennis Association (OTA)