Canada dominates the beautiful game of hockey. It’s an undeniable fact with the international pedigree to prove it. It’s no surprise that a number of Canada’s greatest athletes happen to be hockey players, from Wayne Gretzky and Haley Wickenheiser, to our most recent studs in Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. But Canada’s on-ice domination doesn’t just stop at hockey. Our ability to rule the Curling rink never seems to disappoint with the bald phenoms, Kevin Martin and Kevin Koe, leading the way on the Men’s side, and Jennifer Jones being widely known as the greatest skip of all time in Women’s Curling.
Now when you think of Canada’s greatest athletes, do Tennis players come to mind at all? Well, I’m here to tell you that Canada’s next great wave of athletes may be coming from the clay, grass and hard courts, and the professional Tennis scene is about to see surge of Canadian stars dominating the largest tournaments in the world.
The rise of Canadian Tennis starts with Canada’s sweetheart, Eugenie Bouchard. Genie first made waves when she was named the WTA Newcomer of the year in 2013. Just a few months later, she advanced to the 2014 Wimbledon Finals and finished as the runner-up. She skyrocketed up the ranks and was the hottest Women’s tennis star on the WTA, both figuratively and literally.
While Genie gained popularity in Women’s Tennis, it was Milos Raonic on the Men’s side that started attracting some attention. At a towering 6 feet, 5 inches, the big man’s booming serve blew his competition away and he has certainly held his own against the likes of all-time greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In 2014, he made the Wimbledon semi-finals and has consistently been in tournament contention ever since.
It certainly doesn’t stop there, as we most recently saw Canadian teenager, Bianca Andreescu, win Indian Wells in March 2019, a tournament that’s widely known as the largest event outside the Grand Slam Tournaments. She battled through an injury and grinded out an impressive victory in true Canadian fashion. Bianca is just 18 years old and this won’t be the last time that we hear of this young phenom.
Denis Shapovalov is an up and coming star in Canadian Tennis. He caught the attention of the Tennis world when he defeated 17-time major champion, Rafael Nadal, at the ripe age of 18 years old. He brings an energy and swagger to his game that has made him one to look out for. He was the youngest player to crack the top 30 ATP ranking since 2005 and there’s no question that his future is looking bright.
We will always be known as a country that generates incredible hockey players, but it’s time to start showing some love to our up and coming tennis stars by jumping on the bandwagon of Canadian Tennis, having a smashing good time on the courts, and registering for a Edmonton Sport and Social Club Tennis league!