Monday, 23 December 2013

Winter Club Serves Up a Christmas Classic

Jody Woods and Lillian Wong catch the spirit at the 2013 WWC
Doubles & Mixed Christmas Classic held on December 18th - 22nd
 at the Winnipeg Winter Club.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Since moving to the third week in December, the last open tournament of the year gives local players away on tennis scholarships a chance to perform in front of friends and family.

This year’s edition of the WWC Doubles & Mixed Christmas Classic didn’t disappoint. And in some cases, it also gave some future college players a chance to show their wares.

Sean Bailey and Alan Gardiner defeated Geoff Kirbyson and Alex Lesiuk in the Men’s Open final, 6-2, 6-2.

Lesiuk didn’t leave the tournament empty-handed, however, as he teamed with Kylie Waschuk to defeat Ainsley Bishop and Peter Otto, 7-5, 6-3 in the Mixed Open final.

The Women’s Open was a round robin event with just three teams. Bishop and Olga Berdynskykh took home the top prize with a 2-0 record, winning 24 games and losing only six.

In Men’s 4.5 action, top seeds Mark Vandal and Todd Vandal defeated Quincy Davis and Souk Xoum, 6-2, 4-6, 10-3.

Sabrina Alano and Reece Carter won the Women’s 4.5 round robin with a record of 3-0. They then faced each other in the Mixed 4.5 final, with Alano partnering with Michael Alano to defeat Carter and Marcello Audino, 6-2, 6-2.

Carolyn Derksen and Al Reinsch won the Mixed 3.5 event, posting a 3-0 record, including a nail-biting victory over Shirley Jones and Allan Mcelroy, 6-2, 3-6, 10-6.

See also...
» 2013 WWC Doubles & Mixed Christmas Classic draw results

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Manitobans at 'Little Mo'

Dasha Plekhanova and Reece Carter

When you think of Palm Beach one often thinks vacations. Hold that thought. Now let’s add a tennis tournament and you have the perfect mix of sun, fun, and games.

That may not be what the parents of Reece and Ryan Carter had planned. However, they did return home with some shinny trophies after participating in the Little Mo Internationals, recently held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Reece won the girls 9's yellow ball doubles with her Canadian partner Dasha Plekhanova for the second year in a row. She also finished 4th overall in a draw of really tough competitors which had players from 32 countries this year.

Ryan, not to be outdone by her older sister, won the girls 8's green consolation. At six years of age, Ryan was the youngest "Mo" at the competition.

See also: 2013 Little Mo Internationals tournament website

Friday, 13 December 2013

Manitoba Juniors Successful in Fargo

Juniors from Winnipeg enjoyed friendly tennis
competition in Fargo, ND. (Photo: Marni Miller) 

The Otto Tennis Academy traveled to Fargo, North Dakota this past weekend to compete in the 4th "Battle of the Borders" tournament.

Courts Plus Tennis Club were gracious hosts and head pro Ryan Meyre along with Peter Otto did an outstanding job in organizing the event. The kids (and parents) had a blast.

Planning is underway for a 5th battle as our U.S. counterparts are looking for revenge on their loss.

Information and group photo provided by Marni Miller.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Community Center Tennis Fundamentals Program


Tennis Manitoba, in partnership with the Corydon Community Center, will be hosting an eight week Tennis FUNdamentals Program which starts January 16th, 2014.

Programs offered are open for all ages - kids and adults:
  • Instructions for beginners, Thursdays 6-7pm 
  • Instructions for intermediate level, Thursdays 7-8pm 
  • Optional - Progressive Tennis League, Wednesdays 7-8pm (starts January 21st)
Instructors for the program are all certified by Tennis Manitoba, and equipment is provided.

Location: Crescentwood Community Center, 1170 Corydon Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For more information or to register please contact the Corydon Community Center at 204-488-7000 or email office@centralcorydoncc.com.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Mota Helping to Bring Tennis to Morden


By Tennis Canada

Located about 120 kilometres south of Winnipeg, the small community of Morden, Manitoba is home to three outdoor tennis courts. Thanks to Building Tennis Communities (BTC) champion Joaquin Mota, those courts are being put to good use introducing more of the town’s approximately 7,000 residents to the sport.

New to the BTC family as of November 2012, Mota has made great strides. His first task was to simply let people know tennis was available in Morden, which he did through ‘tennis try’ events, including at the town’s block party and at different church events. Now a year into the BTC program, Mota is happy to be involved and focused on his main goals.

“It’s going well so far,” Mota said while attending the 2013 BTC Conference in Toronto last month. “Our vision is to really work on developing a tennis population, but right now, my idea is to really make this available for all the kids – the girls, the boys, and the people with disabilities, so they can enjoy tennis and play tennis for life.”

A tennis fan who moved to Morden five years ago from Mexico City, Mota says he saw the potential of the town’s three tennis courts and wanted to make a difference. While perusing Tennis Canada’s website, he came across the BTC strategy, which provides financial and educational assistance to ‘community champions’ who work on developing quality tennis programming in their own communities.

Mota is now looking ahead at what needs to be done to ensure the continual growth of tennis in Morden and realize his vision, including making the sport available through the cold winter months that lay ahead.

“I think the next step would be a winter program inside the gym and getting more people involved,” Mota said. “And then, moving from only having the BTC support to making a Morden tennis association and developing someone else to take over later on and make it more sustainable as well. Because we are a small community, I think we have more chances to grow because people get more involved and they know each other. So those are my big next steps, but right now I want to concentrate on the winter program to make it great.”

Mota already has about 24 kids interested in the winter program, which will take place in the middle school’s gymnasium.

The future looks bright for the tennis community in Morden, and for Mota, just being able to do his part in offering the sport to the people in his town has been the biggest highlight of his still relatively new experience with the BTC program.

“I think being out there with the community and being able to propose another option of sport to the community is the main achievement so far,” he said. “To the kids who aren’t getting into hockey or the other activities, for them to know this is an option for them to participate in sport – I’m very proud of that.”

For more information about the BTC program and how to join Mota in growing the game of tennis across Canada, please click here.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Top seeds close out dominate season

Kylie Waschuk collected her fourth Tennis Manitoba Open
Tour women's singles title of 2013 at the WWC Indoor Open
held last weekend at the Winnipeg Winter Club.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Kevin Kylar and Kylie Waschuk capped off dominating performances this season by taking home the last singles titles of the year at the WWC Indoor Open.

Perhaps the only surprise of the tournament for Kylar, 19, was how hard he was pushed by Sean LaCap, in a 6-3, 7-5 win in the final. (He had lost only four games in his three previous matches.)

The victory gave Kylar his fifth Tennis Manitoba Open Tour title of the year. In August, he also won his second Manitoba Open singles crown.

Waschuk, meanwhile, ousted Michaela Tennant 6-4, 6-2, for her seventh tour win in the last two years. She also won the Manitoba Open this summer.

How dominant was their domination? Well, neither of the top seeds – and top-ranked players for the 2013 season – dropped a set in Tennis Manitoba singles competition all year.

(Kylar lost to India’s Vijayant Malik at the 2013 Manshield Futures at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden in August.)

Both teens have also played extensively outside of Manitoba during the past year. Kylar is attempting to earn his first ATP points – he came within a couple of games of doing so at Manshield – while Waschuk aims to bulk up her resume in anticipation of joining an NCAA Division 1 team next fall.

In 4.5 singles action, Michael Alano defeated Dennis Cann 6-3, 6-2 on the men’s side while Lana Tennenhouse spotted Angela Earl a 6-0 lead before storming back to take the final two sets, 6-3, 6-1.

Ward Lockhart won the men’s 3.5 division with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Glen Dyck.

The final event on the Tennis Manitoba 2013 calendar is the WWC Doubles and Mixed Christmas Classic, which will be held at the Winnipeg Winter Club from Dec. 18 to 22.

See also...
» 2013 WWC Doubles & Mixed Christmas Classic
» Tennis Canada's New National Rankings

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tennis Canada's New National Rankings


By Tennis Canada

Tennis Canada is implementing a new National Rankings system that will be effective as of January 1, 2014. As of that day, the existing head-to-head system will no longer be used for the National Rankings. The new Rogers Rankings will be determined based on the number of rounds reached (similar method to that used by the ITF, ATP World Tour, and WTA). This system will be used on a 52-week rollover period and will include the player’s best results (number to be determined).

The existing rankings will be used for the remainder of this year, which will include a year-end rankings run on December 31, 2013.

The new rankings method will be applied to juniors, professionals & open players in Phase 1 (January 1, 2014) and will be rolled out to seniors and wheelchair players in Phase Two (early 2014).

The junior rankings will be comprised of all provincial and national tournaments. Most international junior tournaments, identified Canadian open events and all professional events will also be included. The junior rankings will be a combined rank in which a player’s best results can come from any junior age category event or open/professional event they play in.

The open rankings will include all open events in Canada as well as all professional events.

Please note that all new rankings released after January 1, 2014 will include the results from 2013 under the new ranking method.

For additional details, see New National Rankings FAQ.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Respect in Sport Course


Tennis Manitoba and Sport Manitoba believes in being proactive in ensuring sport in our province is safe and welcoming for all participants. Respect in Sport helps us promote those values through a simple and convenient on-line training course for coaches and sport leaders. It is designed as a tool to assist coaches in identifying and dealing with abuse, neglect, harassment, and bullying in sport.

Tennis Manitoba recommends that all tennis instructors and coaches in our province complete the Respect in Sport for Coaches and Activity Leaders program. There is no fee for the program for coaches in Manitoba. To review course details, click here.

Registration for the on-line course is available at www.coachingmanitoba.ca

Please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 should you have further Respect in Sport program questions.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pound Recipient of Norwood Volunteer Award


Norwood Community Centre has recognized Brian Pound as the volunteer of the year for the Norwood Flats community. The award acknowledges Brian Pound's unparalleled dedication to growing tennis programming at the Norwood Community Centre, which includes tennis camps for local children, school and wheelchair programs.

Tennis Manitoba would like to congratulate Brian on his achievement and look forward to continuing to work with him and Norwood CC to grow the sport in Manitoba.

See also: Local’s love of tennis rejuvenates sport at Norwood

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Community Centre re-opens repaired tennis courts

The tennis court's at Winnipeg's Windsor Community Centre
on Killarney Street got a facelift.

By CBC News

After Tennis Manitoba criticized Winnipeg for its maintenance of city tennis courts, the Windsor Community Centre has stepped up its game.

The courts at the Killarney Street centre have been resurfaced.

Councillor Brian Mayes says it's exciting for the community.

"I think it's going to be great, people already saying 'I didn't know that that was there before'.  People driving by.  Walking by and I think it's going to be well used," he said.

The community centre held a ceremony to introduce people to the courts. A tennis pro was on hand giving lessons.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Ashe, Becker, Seles – These tennis stars have all played in Winnipeg

Anna Kournikova (left) vs. Monica Seles in an exhibition
match held in Winnipeg on December 15, 2002.

By Sean Grassie

It was a big summer for professional tennis in Winnipeg in 2013 – the CIBC Wood Gundy Women’s Challenger was held in July at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club, followed by the Manshield Tennis Men’s Futures at Sargent Park in August. Having elite international players visit the city, though, is nothing new. Here are some of the other marquee tennis events that have been held in Winnipeg:

Davis Cup – 1970

The city hosted the Davis Cup for the first time in 1970. In fact, two ties were held on back-to-back weekends at the Winnipeg Canoe Club. Up first for Canada was Caribbean/West Indies. John Sharpe got the host country off to an early lead by beating Richard Russell 6-8, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in front of a crowd of about 800, “most of whom sat through the 3 ½ hour match in blistering temperatures,” wrote the Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian team also included Mike Belkin and Peter Burwash (a long-time tennis commentator for TSN). Canada went on to beat Caribbean/West Indies 5-0.

Up next for the home side was a tie against New Zealand, also held at the Canoe Club. New Zealand, coming off a win over Mexico, landed in Winnipeg full of confidence. “We’ll probably win 5-0 or 4-1,” New Zealand captain Eric White told the Free Press. The Canadians, though, had other ideas.

Knotted at 2-2, the tie came down to the last singles match: Belkin against New Zealand’s Onny Parun. Belkin, ranked No. 36 in the world at the time, won 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. “This isn’t like a tournament where you’re playing for a few thousand people,” Belkin told the Free Press after the win. “This is the Davis Cup. This is for Canada!”

Pan Am Games – 1967 and 1999


Winnipeg Canoe Club hosted the tennis events at the 1967 Pan Am Games. Headlining the field was Arthur Ashe, who lost his second straight Australian Open final earlier that year (Ashe went on to win three majors – 1968 U.S. Open, 1970 Australian Open and 1975 Wimbledon). Ashe won a bronze medal in singles at the Pan Am Games and gold in mixed doubles with Jane Albert. In the men’s singles final, Thomas Koch (Brazil) beat Herbert Fitzgibbon (U.S.) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in front of close to 2,000 spectators at the Canoe Club. Elena Subirats (Mexico) won gold in the women’s singles with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Patsy Rippy (U.S.).

The Pan Am Games returned to the city in 1999, with the tennis events at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. Among the notables making the trip were Alexandra Stevenson of the U.S. (she reached the Wimbledon semifinals that year), 17-year-old David Nalbandian of Argentina (2002 Wimbledon finalist) and the U.S. doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. The men’s singles gold medal went to Paul Goldstein of the U.S., who beat countryman Cecil Mamiit 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the final. In the women’s singles final, Venezuela’s Maria Venta defeated Tara Snyder of the U.S. 7-6, 6-1. Stevenson and Nalbandian each won bronze.

Tennis Exhibitions – 1987 and 2002


In 1987, Boris Becker met Kevin Curren in a tennis exhibition at the Winnipeg Arena. Two years earlier Becker beat Curren in the Wimbledon final, making the 17-year-old the youngest and first unseeded player to win the title. At the arena, local tennis fans got a chance to see two of the biggest hitters in the game, “and some of the patrons – the ones with the high-priced seats behind the baseline – need armor for protection when Becker started to get his serve in gear,” the Free Press wrote. Becker won 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 (in the preliminary match, Canadian champion Andrew Sznajder beat Vitas Gerulaitis 9-8 in a pro-set). After his win, Becker kept reporters waiting for about 30 minutes while he iced his weary arms and legs. “When you get to my age, you’ve got to take care of yourself,” the 19-year-old told the media.

Another tennis exhibition came to the Winnipeg Arena in December of 2002, with nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles taking on Anna Kournikova. What brought the two tennis stars to Winnipeg in the winter? “Maybe there’s some little boy or girl who will come and be inspired by (our match),” Seles told the Free Press. “That’s why we’re coming, we’re introducing young kids to tennis.” Kournikova beat Seles 6-4, 7-5. The exhibition featured four other matches, including a match-up between two Winnipeg junior stars: 13-year-old Sean Lacap and 16-year-old Kyla McNicol.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Kylar Continues Dominant Run

Kevin Kylar shown here in action at the 2013 Manshield
Tennis Futures at Sargent Park Tennis Garden in Winnipeg.
 
By Geoff Kirbyson

Kevin Kylar cemented his status as the No. 1-ranked tennis player in Manitoba with a dominating run through the field at the Tuxedo Open.

The 19-year-old lost just 10 games in four matches in securing the men’s open title, highlighted by a 6-1, 6-3 victory over unseeded Stephen Dubienski on Sept. 15.

The 30-year-old Dubienski, who recently moved back to Winnipeg after spending several years in Vancouver, knocked off a pair of seeded players en route to the final – No. 2 Roland Burrell in the quarters and No. 4 Shane Nicholls in the semis.

Kylie Waschuk made short work of the women’s field, too, defeating Lori Mann 6-1, 6-0 in the women’s final.

In men’s doubles action, No. 2 seeds Jared Connell and Roland Burrell defeated the No. 1-ranked duo of Ray Daumler and Peter Eck, 6-4, 3-6 and 10-4 in the third set super tie break.

Complete listing of 2013 Tuxedo Open results are available at tennismanitoba.com.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

2013-14 Provincial Tennis Team

Team Manitoba tennis at the 2013 Canada Summer Games,
Shrebrooke, Quebec.

Tennis Manitoba has announced details of the 2013-14 Provincial & National Training Center Program. The 28 week program includes weekly on court sessions, strength and conditioning training, quarterly fitness testing and out of province competition.

Team tryouts are scheduled for 4 - 7 p.m., September 28, 2013. Competitive junior tennis players interested in participating in the team tryouts, are asked to register prior to 12 noon, Friday, September 27th. To access the tryout registration form, click here.

The following is an overview of the program:

1. Coaching Staff
  • Head Coach - Jared Connell
  • Assistant Coach - Robert Kennedy
  • Assistant Coach - Marlon Goldburn
2. Open Tryout
  • An open tryout for is scheduled for 4 - 7 p.m., Saturday, September 28 at Tuxedo Tennis Club for junior tennis players (boys and girls) in the U12 to to U18 age categories.
  • In the event of inclement weather, please meet at Taylor Tennis Club.
  • There is no fee for the tryout session.
3. Team Selection Criteria
  • Team members will be selected by the coaching staff, with selection notifications made by September 30th.
  • Selections will be based on past tournament performances / results, program commitment, physical competencies, match play and tennis skills.
4. Program Dates
  • Session 1: 8 weeks, week of Sept 30 - Dec 9, 2013
  • Session 2: 10 weeks, week of Jan 6 - Mar 24, 2014
  • Session 3: 10weeks, week of Mar 31 - Jun 9, 2014
5. Program Training
  • On court tennis: 1day per week, 2 hours
  • On court fitness: 1 day per week, 1 hour (following tennis session)
  • Strength and conditioning: 1 day per week, 1 hour
  • Fitness testing: 5 tests throughout program
  • Training session days will be separated by age group / ability level
  • Training days to be announced
6. Program Travel
  • Tournament 1: Edmonton, AB, Nov 1 - 3, 2013
  • Tournament 2: Saskatoon,SK, Nov 30 - 31, 2013
  • Tournament 3: Edmonton, AB, Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2014
  • Tournament 4: Prairie Regionals, Saskatoon,SK, dates TBD (mid-March)
7. Program Apparel
  • Each team member will receive a tracksuit, 2 training shirts
8. Program Fee
  • Costs are currently being finalized. An approximate fee of $1,600 per player for the 28 weeks. The program fee does not include travel expenses.
9. Player Agreement
  • Team members are required to adhered to a player agreement, which is to be signed by the player, parent / guardian, and personal coach. Included in the player agreement will be competition schedules that include participation in all regional and national championships that the player qualifies for in their respective age group, fitness programs / testings and results, technical improvements, training attitudes and behaviour. Periodic evaluations will be held throughout the program.
  • Program participants will be chosen on the above criteria. There are limited number of team spots available in each age group. Players are selected to a particular age category based on their date of birth and/or ability. Each group will consist of a combination of boys and girls.
10. Code of Conduct
  • All team members are required to sign a Tennis Manitoba Code of Conduct agreement.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Twitter recap: Raonic Trends in Winnipeg

On Monday evening after a five-hour rain delay pushed back the fourth-round U.S. Open match between Milos Raonic and Richard Gasquet to a much smaller court, TSN picked up the TV coverage without providing commentary.

Die hard Winnipeg tennis fans took to Twitter to voice their own views on the thrilling match that saw the Canadian go down in a hard-fought battle to the Frenchman 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(9), 7-5.


See also: Milos Raonic's loss at the U.S. Open: social media condolences

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Manitoba Juniors Take on Canada's Best

Kylie Waschuk made it to the round of 16 at the Under 18
Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals, losing out to the no. 1-seeded
player, Gloria Liang from Ontario. (Photo: Kristin Muller)

Five of Manitoba's top junior tennis players qualified to play at the 2013 Rogers Junior Outdoor National Championships this past August, for an opportunity to compete with the best junior players in Canada.

For Sabrina Alano (Under 12), Jennifer Wang (Under 14), and Shrey Gupta (Under 16), it was their first appearance at the junior nationals.

Just prior to the junior nationals, Wang and Gupta, along with Kylie Waschuk (Under 18), made a successful run at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec, tying an all-time best Team Manitoba tennis result by placing fifth.

David Krowiak (Under 14) joined Wang at the Under 14 nationals, making it the third time he has competed at a national level.

There are eight junior national tournaments a year; one indoor and one outdoor for each of the Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age categories. The outdoor junior nationals were held in Mississauga, Ontario, and Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

Tennis Canada often uses the results from the junior nationals to determine which players represent Canada at some of the big international events like the Junior Davis Cup, Junior Fed Cup and World Junior Tennis competitions.

Manitoba juniors that participated at the junior nationals were selected from results at Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour and Prairie Regional qualifying events. For additional information on competitive junior tennis in Manitoba, please visit www.tennismanitoba.com.

See also:
> 2013 Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals photos
> Looking for gold at Mont-Tremblant

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Manitobans Participate at Senior Nationals in Vancouver

Manitoba was represented at the Steve Stevens Senior National Championships recently held in Vancouver, BC. A total of 444 players from across the nation participated at the event held at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club, Arbutus Club, and Jericho Tennis Club.

Making the trip from Winnipeg was Mark Lloyd (35+ age group), Tom Brown (50+), Chris Shay (50+), and Glen Ziprick (55+).

Tennis players who are 35 years and older, that are interested in participating in future senior nationals can contact Tennis Manitoba for entrance requirements.

A complete listing of national senior events can be found on the Tennis Canada website at www.tenniscanada.com.

See also: Champions Crowned at Senior Nationals in Vancouver

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Tweet recap: 2013 Manshield Tennis Futures

Tennis fans in Winnipeg welcomed the return of the Manshield Tennis Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation Pro Circuit event held at Sargent Park Tennis Garden.

Here's a look at the array of tweets that helped highlight the event:

Local’s love of tennis rejuvenates sport at Norwood

Tennis instructor Brian Pound with some of the many kids who
attended a recent tennis camp through the Norwood Tennis Program.

By Adriano Magnifico, The Lance / Canstar Community News

The Norwood Tennis Program is in the midst of a huge resurgence. By the end of August, over 180 kids will have participated in its Norwood Community Centre Tennis Camps.

The popular camps focus on tennis, but include all kinds of sports and games, followed by a daily afternoon swim at the Norwood Flood Bowl pool. Wheelchair tennis players also participate.

Not long ago, the Norwood shale courts were a drab, deteriorating, weedy mess due to years of poor maintenance and lack of interest from the neighbourhood.

The once successful and busy courts needed a new champion.

Then along came Norwood Flats resident Brian Pound, whose commitment and tennis savvy turned the rapidly declining courts into one of Winnipeg’s tennis hubs.

Brian, an avid tennis player from Australia, immigrated to Winnipeg in 1992 and settled in the Flats with his family in 1997. He was disappointed that his neighbourhood courts had been left to ruin. He was determined to do something about it.

In 2007, he approached the Norwood Community Centre Board with a plan to restore the courts and create a viable tennis program for the community. With enthusiastic support from the board of directors, Brian secured over $100,000 in grants from the city, province and the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres.

The Board requested a maintenance-free space, so asphalt was the way to go. Brian added colourful eye-catching Plexipave coatings that ensured durability and a better ball bounce.

Abandoning those shale courts was tough, even though they required much maintenance — weeding, dragging and watering the shale were daily labours. Folks from the early days talk fondly about that unique clay court tennis experience.

In our era of video games and smartphones, he believes that tennis is a great way to hook youth into being more active. "I want to expose kids to tennis in the hope that they become lifelong players. It’s fun, affordable and great exercise. "

Brian also offers progressive tennis programming for children of all ages. The tennis camps offer smaller courts along with different-sized balls and racquets for developing bodies and skill levels to ensure that players have success and enjoy the game immediately.

Mark Arndt, executive director of Tennis Manitoba, says while the sorry state of some city courts may be "driving people from the sport," Brian’s Norwood model offers a powerful exemplar for building tennis interest and participation in a local community.

He also knows that Brian is the driving force behind Norwood’s success. "Brian is an energetic, enthusiastic visionary for the sport. He is a champion in the tennis community," he said.

Check out http://www.norwoodcc.ca/sports/tennis for drop-in dates and times and more information about this emerging Norwood sport.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tennis Fitness and You

Eugenie Bouchard and Filip Peliwo training at the National
Tennis Centre in Montreal.

By Melissa Boyd, Tennis Canada

The beauty of tennis is that it is a sport for a lifetime for everyone, not just the high performance athlete. We sat down with Kieran Foy, fitness coach at the National Tennis Centre in Montreal, to find out how fitness and nutrition can improve your game regardless of whether you play competitively, or just for fun.

Tennis Canada. Compared to athletes in other sports, in your opinion, how fit are the best tennis players in the world?

Kieran Foy. The tennis player really is the complete athlete. They have great cardio, they have great speed and agility, they’re extremely strong and big. They are physically imposing and now they’re adding strength and flexibility, two elements that weren’t there before. There’s not a lot of sports where you see those two unique aspects, especially when movements are being performed at a very high acceleration. A tennis player is right up there with the best conditioned athletes in sports.

TC. Can you give some fitness tips for the average tennis player and how they can optimize their performance on the court?

KF. Being fitter allows you to enjoy your tennis more. You can hit the ball bit harder, move quicker, and your racquet will feel lighter. The best thing you can do is a little bit of something every day. So, a little bit of jogging, a little bit of strength, a little bit of flexibility. You don’t need to go crazy. You don’t need to be sprinting around and risk pulling or tearing something.

TC. How does fitness for a kid getting started in tennis differ from a high performance player like Eugenie Bouchard or Filip Peliwo?

KF. I think you can start to introduce notions of what it is to train and what is fitness as a concept. At that age, they don’t need to be in a very structured program per se. They’re not at the age where they need to understand what a full warm up is, or the full physical and psychological development of an athlete, or what a cool down is. The key is to play a lot of games, outdoors especially. I think they should use running as a model, but within the context of playing other sports. In particular, sports where there is a ball that’s parabolic like basketball, tennis, and soccer where the ball bounces around at different angles and trajectories.

TC. How crucial are warm up and cool down exercises before and after matches? What are some examples of effective ones?

KF. For the average player, the best thing they can do is warm up and have a little stretch before they play because they are more likely to tweak something. So, 5-10 minutes of jogging continuously in different directions – backwards, side skipping, arms rolling forward, arms rolling backwards. Just get the joints moving a little bit. Once you finish that, you should stretch. 10 minutes to get everything loose and not have it cold when you go on court.

TC. Can you give some nutrition and hydration tips for the average tennis player? What should they be consuming before, during, and after playing?

KF. Before a match it’s important to hydrate to make sure that you take in adequate fluid. This can help you stay cooler in your match. Somewhere along the lines of ¾ of a litre to one litre of water before you play. While you’re playing, a good guideline is to have 200 ml of liquid every 15-20 minutes. In terms of eating before a match, you want to have a light snack maybe two hours before because you don’t want to carry anything in your stomach as you’re playing. Between games, you can take fruits that are easily digestible or sports drinks if you’re playing for more than an hour. But still, water is your best friend. I like to eat within 30 minutes of playing just to replace my energy. That can be fruit, pasta, or some white protein like chicken or fish.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

From Winnipeg to Flushing Meadows

John-Patrick Smith had little time to celebrate his first title
of the year, as he travels to New York where he will compete
in the U.S. Open. (Photo: Brian McCann)

By Geoff Kirbyson

J.P. Smith is on a roll heading into the U.S. Open.

The 24-year-old Australia native won the second-annual Manshield Tennis Futures tournament with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in sweltering conditions over Ante Pavic of Croatia at the Sargent Park Tennis Gardens Sunday afternoon.

It’s the first title of 2013 for Smith, who is ranked 304 in the world, and the fourth in his career. Pavic is ranked 555 in the world.

Immediately following the match, Smith Tweeted that he’s off to New York City for the U.S. Open, where he’s going to compete in men’s doubles. He is currently ranked No. 72 in the world in doubles.

Smith defeated Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the semi-finals, 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday, while Pavic beat American Evan King 6-3, 6-2.

The loss ended a great week for Pavic, who had told organizers earlier this month while in Calgary that he was playing so poorly he wasn’t even going to enter Manshield. Instead, he came to Winnipeg, won the doubles and knocked off No. 1 seed Filip Peliwo in the quarter-finals.

See also...
> Aussie Smith Crowned Champion at Winnipeg Futures
> Pavic and Smith Reach Winnipeg Futures Final
> Pavic Haunts Peliwo
> Winnipeg Futures down to Semifinals; Pokrajac Wins Doubles Title
> Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Aussie Smith Crowned Champion at Winnipeg Futures

John-Patrick Smith notched his first title of the year at the 2013
Manshield Tennis Futures, held at the Sargent Park Tennis
Garden, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

By Tennis Canada

Australian John-Patrick Smith has been crowned champion of the Manshield Futures, as he ousted Ante Pavic of Croatia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the $15K ITF Pro Circuit event at Sargent Park Tennis Garden in Winnipeg on Sunday.

Seeded No. 2, Smith started slowly against his No. 7-seeded opponent, as he was broken in his first service game. But after dropping the opening set, Smith was able to come back strongly to nab the win. During the match, he also reeled off an impressive 13 straight points.

“I started the week off slowly but seemed to get into the groove, similar to the final where I lost the first set but went on to win,” Smith said following the match to Radio-Canada.

For the 24-year-old, the Manshield Futures is his first 2013 title and fourth overall. Smith is currently ranked world No. 304 and he will hope his performance in Winnipeg can provide him momentum through the rest of the season as he aims to better his career-high of No. 210.

Smith will next head to the US Open, where he will participate in the doubles draw alongside fellow Aussie Paul Hanley.

“I’ll have 10 minutes [to enjoy the victory] – that's the length of the ride to the airport and then I have to focus on New York,” he said. For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> From Winnipeg to Flushing Meadows
> Pavic and Smith Reach Winnipeg Futures Final
> Pavic Haunts Peliwo
> Winnipeg Futures down to Semifinals; Pokrajac Wins Doubles Title
> Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pavic and Smith Reach Winnipeg Futures Final

John-Patrick Smith provided the Manshield Tennis Futures
fans with a dominant performance in his semifinal
victory over the younger Cameron Norrie.

By Tennis Canada

No. 7 seed Ante Pavic of Croatia and No. 2-seeded Aussie John-Patrick Smith will face off for the Manshield Futures title after they captured semifinal victories over their qualifier opponents at the $15K ITF Pro Circuit event in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Pavic ended the impressive run of American qualifier Evan King with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph. Pavic didn’t face a single break point in the match en route to earning his position in the final.

Eighteen-year-old Cameron Norrie of Great Britain could not challenge Smith, who won 6-1, 6-2. Smith reeled off nine consecutive games during the duel, and won 53 total points to Norrie’s 29.

Both finalists will be looking for their first 2013 singles title in Sunday’s championship match. The two competitors have played each other twice before, with both Smith and Pavic picking up one triumph. Smith is ranked world No. 304 and is looking for his fourth career professional title, while Pavic is No. 555, with two career trophies. Pavic is hoping to net the title sweep in Winnipeg, as he and Canadian partner Milan Pokrajac clinched the doubles crown on Friday.

Sunday’s final will take place at 12 p.m. local time. Admission to the Sargent Park Tennis Garden for the match is free. Fans can follow live scoring from www.tenniscanada.com and find out more information about the Manshield Futures at www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Pavic Haunts Peliwo
> Winnipeg Futures down to Semifinals; Pokrajac Wins Doubles Title
> Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Pavic Haunts Peliwo

Ante Pavic (left) discusses critical point strategy with partner
Milan Pokrajac during the third set in the Manshield Tennis
Futures doubles championship match.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Filip Peliwo will be having nightmares about Ante Pavic after getting knocked out in both the singles and doubles at the Manshield Tennis Futures Friday.

The Croation Pavic, who was seeded seventh, defeated the Vancouver native and No. 1 seed in the singles 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden.

Then a couple of hours later he partnered with Milan Pokrajac, another Canadian, to defend their top seed and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a 6-0, 4-6, 13-11 win over Peliwo and David Sofaer from Australia in the men’s doubles final.

The top seeds were down two mini-breaks at 8-4 in the deciding super tie-break and saved off one match point before prevailing.

The men’s semi-finals start Saturday morning with Pavic playing Evan King from the U.S. (Pavic had won the first set at press time) and Cameron Norrie from Great Britain will take on J.P. Smith from Australia at 1:00 p.m.

Smith is the highest-ranked player left in the draw (No. 299 in the world.)

For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Winnipeg Futures down to Semifinals; Pokrajac Wins Doubles Title
> Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Friday, 23 August 2013

Winnipeg Futures down to Semifinals; Pokrajac Wins Doubles Title

Croatian Ante Pavic ousted Canadian Filip Peliwo in today's
 singles quarterfinals by a score of 4-6 6-1 6-4.

By Tennis Canada

The Manshield Futures is down to the semifinals following action at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden in Winnipeg on Friday, with the two remaining Canadians in contention for the title – Erik Chvojka (Montreal) and Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) – both ousted in the quarters.

No. 1-seeded Peliwo was bested by No. 7 seed Ante Pavic of Croatia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. After dropping the first set, Pavic came back strong to earn the win and a semifinal match-up versus qualifier Evan King of the United States. King, currently ranked world No. 941, overcame compatriot Alexander Sarkissian 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2.

Chvojka, who was seeded No. 5 in Winnipeg, was forced to retire from his match versus British qualifier Cameron Norrie at the 4-0 mark of the first set. Ranked No. 1346, 18-year-old Norrie will be well rested for his semifinal battle opposite No. 2 seed John-Patrick Smith of Australia. Smith eliminated Tunisian Haythem Abid 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

A thrilling final on Friday also brought the doubles draw to a close, as Canadian Milan Pokrajac (Toronto) and Pavic pulled off the victory. The winning pair dished out a bagel in the first set before their opponents, Peliwo and Aussie David Soafer, climbed back into the match and really began to challenge them. It ended with a tight match tiebreaker but Pokrajac and Pavic – the No. 1-seeded duo – were able to clinch a 6-0, 4-6, 13-11 triumph for the title.

Live scoring of Saturday’s semifinals can be found at www.tenniscanada.com. For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Peliwo Continues March in both Singles and Doubles

It was Filip Peliwo (CAN) / David Sofaer (AUS) getting it done,
6-3 6-4 over Swedes Isak Arvidsson / Markus Eriksson (SWE)
 to get into the doubles finals.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Filip Peliwo is no stranger to pressure.

Even though the 19-year-old is one of the younger players at the Manshield Tennis Futures tournament in Winnipeg, having been the No. 1 ranked junior in the world last year has helped him prepare for moments like this.

On Thursday, he dispatched Sweden’s Patrik Rosenholm, 6-4, 7-5 at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden, setting up a quarter-final match with Croatia’s Ante Pavic, the No. 7 seed, Friday morning at 10 a.m.

The other quarter-finals feature one more Canadian, No. 5 seed Erik Chvojka and Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, an all-American duel between Alexander Sarkissian and Evan King, and No. 2 seed J Smith from Australia and Haythem Abid from Tunisia.

Later on today, Peliwo and his partner, David Sofaer from Australia, will play the top-seeded pairing of Pavic and Canadian Milan Pokrajac in the doubles final.

For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Two Canadians in Quater-Finals at Winnipeg Futures

Top seed Canadian Filip Peliwo battled hard to get past Patrik
 Rosenholm of Sweden, 6-4 7-5.

By Tennis Canada

The quarter-finals are set at the Manshield Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation Pro Circuit event in Winnipeg, where tennis fans at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden saw two Canadians capture second-round victories to advance on Thursday.

No. 1-seeded Canadian Filip Peliwo, a former junior Grand Slam champion, ousted Patrik Rosenholm of Sweden 6-4, 7-5 to secure his quarter-final position. Peliwo will next be pitted against No. 7 seed Ante Pavic of Croatia, who defeated Canadian Isade Juneau 6-4, 6-3 to advance.

The second Canadian in the quarter-finals is Erik Chvojka, who advanced after prevailing over Great Britain’s Luke Bambridge 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in the second round. In order to compete in the semifinals, No. 5 seed Chvojka will next need to defeat another Brit, qualifier Cameron Norrie, who upset No. 4 seed Vijayant Malik of India 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday.

Tunisian Mohamed Abid ousted qualifier David Sofaer of Australia 6-0, 6-2, and will now have to overcome the tournament’s No. 2 player, Aussie John-Patrick Smith, to move into the semis. Smith earned his quarter-final position after defeating Isak Arvidsson of Sweden 6-4, 7-6(6) in the second round.

American Evan King will move into the quarters after defeating compatriot Jean-Yves Aubone 7-5, 7-5 in the second round. He will take on the winner of Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and American Alexander Sarkissian’s second-round match, which will be played tonight at 6:30 p.m. local time. Fans can follow live scoring of this match at www.tenniscanada.com.

For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Kylar Nearly Makes History
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Kylar Nearly Makes History

Winnipeg's Kevin Kylar came close to a big upset over
no. 4-seeded Vijayant Malik of India.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Missed it by that much.

Kevin Kylar came oh-so-close to becoming the first Manitoban ever to earn an International Tennis Federation ranking point during the Manshield Tennis Futures tournament at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden on Wednesday.

After losing the first set of his first round match to India’s Vijayant Malik 6-3, the 19-year-old Winnipegger won a battle of the breaks (of serve) to take the second set 6-3.

Kylar, who had several outbursts over what he perceived were bad line calls during the match, held a 3-2 lead but was unable to convert a break point for 4-2 and eventually fell 6-4. Malik is ranked 447th in the world.

Two weeks ago, Kylar was one match away from getting that elusive point but he lost a straight sets match at a tournament in Calgary.

Matthew Akman, who grew up playing tennis in Winnipeg, earned an ITF point a couple of decades ago, but by that time he had moved away from Manitoba.

Top seed Filip Peliwo from Vancouver plays his second round match against Sweden’s Patrik Rosenholm at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday.

Manshield Tennis Futures updates are available at www.winnipegfutures.com

See also...
> First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

First Round Complete at Winnipeg Futures

A great performance by Winnipeg's Kevin Kylar came up a little
 short against no. 4-seeded Vijayant Malik of India, 6-3 3-6 6-4.

By Tennis Canada

The first round has come to an end at Manshield Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation Pro Circuit event in Winnipeg, where tennis fans at Sargent Park Tennis Garden saw three Canadian players advance into the second round.

Canadian qualifier Isade Juneau defeated compatriot Hugo Di Feo 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday, and will be advancing to take on No. 7 seed Ante Pavic of Croatia in the second round. The second all-Canadian match of the day between No. 5-seeded Erik Chvojka and Milan Pokrajac saw Chovjka win 6-4, 6-3. He will now face Luke Brambridge, who ousted Canada's Brayden Schnur 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5.

Daniel Chu, another Canadian qualifier, was eliminated after losing to Jean-Yves Aubone of the United States 6-1, 6-2. Aubone will now face Evan King in the second round after the American defeated Fritz Wolmarans 6-3, 6-3 to advance. Another American, Alexander Sarkissian, defeated Elias Ymer 6-3, 6-4 to move into the next round where he will face Thanasi Kokkinakis, who secured his second-round berth during Tuesday’s schedule of play.

Winnipeg’s own Kevin Kylar put up a strong fight against India's Vijayant Malik before he was eliminated 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Malik will advance to take on Great Britain's Cameron Norrie, who defeated Alexander Zverev 7-6(2), 6-3.

Wednesday's successful players join Canadian Filip Peliwo, as well as Patrik Rosenholm, Mohamed Abid, David Soafer, John-Patrick Smith, and Isak Arvidsson in the second round, which will take place on Thursday. Stay tuned to www.tenniscanada.com for match updates and live scoring throughout the rest of the tournament. For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

See also...
> Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Road to U.S. Open runs through Winnipeg

Filip Peliwo returned to Winnipeg with a first round victory,
as he edged out Andrew Ochotta, 6-4, 7-6(4).

By Geoff Kirbyson

Last year, Filip Peliwo used the Manshield Tennis Futures as a springboard to winning one of the biggest junior tournaments on the planet.

This year, he’s hoping to ride his success here, where he’s the No. 1 seed, into the main draw of the U.S. Open.

The 19-year-old Vancouver native got off on the right foot Tuesday with a straight set victory over Andrew Ochotta at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden.

Peliwo had a season to remember in 2012, reaching the final of all four Grand Slam junior events, and winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Peliwo has an off day on Wednesday when all eyes will be on Kevin Kylar, fresh off his victory in the Manitoba Open, who will play No. 4 seed and world No. 447, Vijayant Malik from India, in the late morning draw.

Manshield Tennis Futures updates are available at www.winnipegfutures.com


See also...
> First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

First Round Underway at Winnipeg Futures

Filip Peliwo was off to a good start at the 2013 Manshield
Tennis Futures, as he defeated Andrew Ochotta in a close
contest. (Photo: Brian McCann)

By Tennis Canada

Tennis fans in Winnipeg are welcoming the return of the Manshield Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation Pro Circuit event, where the first round of main draw play began at Sargent Park Tennis Garden on Tuesday.

Headlining the tournament is Canada’s own Filip Peliwo, the No. 1 seed who ousted his compatriot Andrew Ochotta, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the first round. Peliwo will now face Patrik Rosenholm of Sweden, who eliminated Canadian George Jecminek 6-4, 6-4 during Tuesday’s play.

Canadians Nikolai Haessig and Philip Bester were unable to find success on the opening day of action, after Haessig was ousted by Sweden’s Isak Arvidsson 6-3, 6-3, and Bester fell to Tunisian Mohamed Abid 6-2, 7-6(4). Abid will take on qualifier David Soafer in the second round, who advanced after his first-round opponent, Sahak Bazrganian, retired at 6-3, 4-2.

The tournament’s No. 3-seeded player, Markus Eriksson, was upset by Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6, 7-6(0), 6-3, while No. 7 seed Ante Pavic of Croatia recovered after dropping the first set to defeat Dimitar Kutovsky 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.

With the remaining first-round matches set to take place Wednesday, there are plenty of opportunities for fans to catch more Canadians competing for spots in the second round.

Two all-Canadian matches will guarantee that at least two more Canucks make the second round. Qualifier Isade Juneau will take on wild card Hugo Di Feo, with the winner advancing to take on Pavic. No. 5 seed Erik Chvojka will be facing Milan Pokrajac for a second-round berth, with the victor next taking on either recent Calgary Futures champion Brayden Schnur or Great Britain’s Luke Bambridge.

Canadian qualifier Daniel Chu will also be playing American Jean-Yves Aubone in hopes of advancing to the second round.

Stay tuned to www.tenniscanada.com for match updates and live scoring throughout the rest of the tournament. For more information about the Manshield Futures, please visit www.winnipegfutures.com.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Sean Lacap (yellow shirt) with brother Chad, discussing their
come from behind strategy against Stephen Dubienski and Mike
Lodewyks for the Manitoba Open men's doubles championship.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Sean Lacap didn’t get the result he wanted in the men’s open singles at the Manitoba Open, but he did in men’s and mixed doubles.

After falling in straight sets to Kevin Kylar, Lacap and his brother, Chad, defeated Stephen Dubienski and Mike Lodewyks, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, in an entertaining men’s doubles final at the Kildonan Tennis Club Saturday.

He topped it off by partnering Anita Paskvalin to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Lori Mann and Mark Vandal, to finish the round robin with a perfect 4-0 record.

It’s the fourth men’s doubles title at the Manitoba for the elder Lacap and the first for the younger.

See also...
> Kylar Claims Championship, Household Bragging Rights
> Doubles Troubles? Not for Unseeded Pair
> Youth is Served in Sister Showdown
> The Philippine Comeback Machine
> Lacap's make Manitoba Open a family affair
> Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

> Video: 2013 Manitoba Open men's doubles final, end of 1st set

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Kylar Claims Championship, Household Bragging Rights


Kevin Kylar reclaims the Manitoba Open Men's Singles
championship title.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Nothing will ever top the drama of Kevin Kylar’s first Manitoba Open singles title but it will be difficult to find a more significant win than his second.

Two years ago, the then-16-year-old did something no Manitoban had done in nearly a decade-and-a-half, defeating longtime No. 1, Doug Devriendt, in an epic three-set battle.

But Saturday at the Kildonan Tennis Club, the top seed’s 6-1, 6-3 win over No. 4 Sean LaCap gave him bragging rights in his house.

“My dad only won one,” he said, referring to George Kylar’s sole Manitoba Open singles victory in 1982.

(George Kylar, who is also Kevin’s coach, has several Manitoba Open doubles titles, too.)

The younger Kylar knew he had to play a little bit bigger than he had to this point in the tournament because he didn’t want to grind with LaCap, who had won three tough matches to get to the final, including coming back from 5-1 down and two match points in the third set against Saul Shrom in the quarter-finals.

“He hits so much topspin and slice, it’s kind of uncomfortable. He hits a lot of loopy balls and it’s easy to make mistakes off them. I figured if I could hit a good serve, get a short ball, hit a good approach and put it away, that was better than hanging around the baseline,” he said.

There’s little time to bask in the glory for Kylar, however, as he has a wildcard spot in the Manshield Tennis Futures, a $15,000 International Tennis Federation pro circuit men’s tournament next week at the Sargent Park Tennis Garden.

“It’s going to be a little tougher but I played a tournament in Calgary last week and qualified for the main draw and had a couple of tough matches. That will help get me ready for (Manshield),” he said.

See also...
> Doubles Troubles? Not for Unseeded Pair
> Youth is Served in Sister Showdown
> The Philippine Comeback Machine
> LaCap's make Manitoba Open a family affair
> Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Friday, 16 August 2013

Doubles Troubles? Not for Unseeded Pair

Manitoba Open men's doubles semi finals were played under
the lights Friday night at Kildonan Tennis Club.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Do Mike Lodewyks and Stephen Dubienski have two more arrows in their quivers?

The unseeded duo defeated their second seeded pair in as many days Friday night when they ousted the top ranked team of Alex Lesiuk and Saul Shrom 6-4, 6-4 in Manitoba Open action at the Kildonan Tennis Club.

After clinching match point, they celebrated with a Bryan brothers-esque chest bump.

They dumped the No. 4 seeds, Trev Borland and Sean Grassie, in three sets on Thursday.

Lodewyks and Dubienski will face two of the LaCap brothers – Sean and Chad – in Saturday’s final, after they beat their younger brother, Cole, and his partner, Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, 7-5, 6-3.

The final is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

In the men’s singles, top seeded Kevin Kylar continued his uneventful run to the final with an efficient 6-1, 6-2 effort over No. 3 seed Evan Mancer.

Kylar will face No. 4 seed Sean LaCap, who ousted the second seed, Lesiuk, 7-6 (3), 6-2. The final is set for Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.

See also...
> Youth is Served in Sister Showdown
> The Philippine Comeback Machine
> LaCap's make Manitoba Open a family affair
> Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Youth is Served in Sister Showdown

Kylie Waschuk captured the 2013 Manitoba Open Tennis
Championships women's singles title.

By Geoff Kirbyson

Kylie Waschuk had about 20 minutes to revel in avenging her three defeats at the hands of her sister at last year’s Manitoba Open.

The No. 2 seed in the women’s open singles defeated her older sibling in the final for her first Manitoba Open title when Evann retired with an injured back while trailing 6-4, 3-1.

Evann had defeated Kylie in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the 2012 Open.

“It was good to get a little payback. I've lost to Evann many times growing up, so getting the win was great,” she said.

After a quick break for food and treatment on Evann’s back, the two paired up to defeat Lori Mann and Alix Younger, 6-3, 6-2, to clinch the women’s doubles title with a 3-0 record in the round robin.

After a summer of traveling to junior ITF tournaments, the Stanley Park Open, junior nationals and the just-completed Canada Games, the younger Waschuk was primed from playing some of the best juniors Canada has to offer.

“I thought I’d be well prepared for this year’s Manitoba Open. My plan was to run Evann hard,” she says.

See also...
> The Philippine Comeback Machine
> LaCap's make Manitoba Open a family affair
> Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Philippine Comeback Machine

Saul Shrom prepares to serve to Sean Lacap in Manitoba
Open men's quarter finals action at Kildonan Tennis Club.

Lacap erases huge third set deficit to post win

By Geoff Kirbyson

When Yogi Berra said, “it ain’t over til it’s over,” he probably wasn’t talking about tennis.

But the New York Yankees legend’s famous line about not giving up until the absolute end was fitting for Sean LaCap’s win over Saul Shrom at the Manitoba Open at the Kildonan Tennis Club Thursday night.

The fourth seeded Lacap found himself down 5-1 in the third set to the sixth seed before battling back to take it to a tie-break, only to go down 4-0 and then down two match points at 6-4.

He saved both and eventually took the tie-break 9-7 in a match that lasted nearly three hours and 15 minutes.

Lacap will now play No. 2 seed Alex Lesiuk, who took out LaCap’s younger brother, Chad, 6-4, 7-6, (7-2) in one men’s singles semi-final on Friday while top seed Kevin Kylar will play No. 3 Evan Mancer.

Kylar beat Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, the No. 7 seed, who plays at Pepperdine University, 6-3, 6-3, while Mancer ousted Muzeen Ismath, 7-6, (7-3), 6-4.

Shrom was involved in another barn burner on the doubles court when he and Lesiuk, the event’s top seeds, beat Daniel Fraser and Shane Nicholls, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in one quarter-final.

Sean and Chad Lacap, the No. 2 seeds, defeated Ian Filoteo and Joey Glavine, 6-1, 6-3 in another.

Tanaka-Tamaki and Cole Lacap registered one of two upsets on the day, beating Ismath and Geoff Kirbyson, the third seeds and the 2011 champions, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Stephen Dubienski and Mike Lodywyks pulled off the second, beating the fourth-ranked pair of Trev Borland and Sean Grassie, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

On the women’s side, it’s going to be an all-Waschuk singles final as both Evann and Kylie won their semi-finals Thursday night.

Top-seeded Evann defeated Samantha Lee, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, while No. 2 Kylie took down Jennifer Wang, 6-3, 6-2.

They will play Friday at 5:45 p.m.

See also...
> Lacap's make Manitoba Open a family affair
> Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lacap's make Manitoba Open a family affair

Sean Lacap in action at the Manitoba Open Tennis
Championships. (Photo: VERSUS Photography)
By Geoff Kirbyson

The Lacap family might want to start taking separate cars to tennis tournaments.

With three sons – Sean, 24, Chad, 19, and now 15-year-old Cole – playing in the open category at this year’s Manitoba Open, the likelihood that one will be going home unhappy at the hands of one of his brothers is high.

That was likely the case on Wednesday night at the Kildonan Tennis Club as Sean and his partner, Anita Paskvalin, posted a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win over Cole and Kylie Waschuk in the mixed open doubles round robin.

Sibling rivalry? You bet.

Sean, who won his first men’s open singles tournament a decade ago, said he’s “not exactly thrilled” about his odds of staying atop the family tennis ladder cut in half with Cole’s arrival in the open events.

“We take these match-ups very seriously at home. Chad and I wouldn't talk to each other for the two days leading up to our first round singles match at the Taylor Clay Courts tournament this summer. And I may have possibly uttered threats to Cole about errant overheads and put-aways coming his way tonight,” he says.

But ever the big brother, Sean says he’ll be the first to “sincerely and proudly” congratulate his siblings when they eventually take him down. There’s just one small catch, though.

“I’ll make it very uncomfortable for them to try it, both on and off the court,” he says.

Cole says Sean knows he’s probably going to play one of his brothers sooner or later in the draw.

“He has played Chad many times but for Sean to play me was very different because he can have two brothers that are at his own level,” the youngest Lacap says.

Cole admitted that he got a few pointers from Chad before going out on the court.

“He said I had nothing to lose by playing Sean. I am the youngest brother, after all,” he says.

The Lacaps aren’t always on opposite sides of the net. Sean and Chad are the No. 2 seeds in the men’s doubles and will play Thursday evening.

The men’s singles quarterfinals are now set as three more seeds moved on Wednesday night. Top seeded Kevin Kylar defeated Shane Nicholls 6-2, 6-3, No. 3 Evan Mancer needed three sets to get by Sean Grassie, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 and No. 7 Kento Tanaka-Tamaki defeated Don Wong Kang, 6-1, 6-0.

All of the quarter-finals in both men’s singles and men’s doubles will take place Thursday evening. The women’s singles’ semi-finals are also on tap, with another potential family feud in the offing.

Top seed Evann Waschuk will play Samantha Lee while No. 2 Kylie Waschuk will take on fourth seeded Jennifer Wang.

See also: Marathon match puts Ismath into Manitoba Open Quarterfinals

Get Manitoba Open draw updates at tennismanitoba.com

Local man hopes for fundraising ace

Harbour View South resident Markus Deutsch (left) is planning an eight-hour tennis marathon in support of Siloam Mission on Sept. 7. Also pictured are Siloam director of resource development Judy Richichi and Deutsch's eight-year-old son Josiah. (Photo: Dan Falloon)

By The Herald, Canstar Community News

Prayer led Markus Deutsch to create a fundraiser for Siloam Mission.

"We have a walk-in closet, and I go into the walk-in closet and I pray there," said the Harbour View South resident. "I was just sitting there, sometimes I just listen there, and basically, what I got was ‘Why don’t you do a fundraiser for Siloam?’"

Newly inspired, Deutsch decided to create Tennis for Siloam, which is planned for Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fundraiser, which will take place at the Kildonan Tennis Club at 17 Valhalla Dr., will consist of Deutsch and three friends playing tennis for eight hours.

"Why don’t I combine those two things — having fun and also challenging myself?" said Deutsch, who plays tennis three to five times per week. "Usually, after three hours, I get tired, so I thought about doing an eight-hour match.

"My goal is to have four (players) so we can rotate and get a massage or an adjustment in between. Usually, after three hours, I feel (it in) my lower back."

Deutsch, who has never organized a fundraiser before, will be glad for any donation that is made, but hopes to see people pledge in increments of $3.11 — the cost for one meal at Siloam Mission — for each hour played. He hopes to raise $10,000 from the event.

He said Siloam’s work with Winnipeg’s homeless population, which he said goes above and beyond a meal and a bed, is a godsend for those trying to travel the right path.

"Sometimes they went the wrong way, but it shows that they’re trying to get back on their feet," he said. "Siloam helps them in not just providing food, not just providing shelter, but also helps to get them back on their feet."

Deutsch said he played tennis growing up, but really embraced the sport about five years ago after an injury all but ended his soccer career. He said his competitiveness carried over into the new sport.

"I can’t play without points. It’s too boring," Deutsch said. "It’s always very competitive."

Siloam director of resource development Judy Richichi said the number of community initiatives to support the shelter has increased in recent years.

"It’s a good thing, because we need everybody. We need everybody’s little bit," she said.

The rain date for the event is Sept. 14.

For more information on Siloam Mission, located at 300 Princess St., go online at
www.siloam.ca