Monday, 23 June 2014

Bailey Captures Deer Lodge Title

Finals Sunday at the Deer Lodge Classic saw Sean Bailey capture
his third straight Tennis Manitoba Open Tour title. Pictured here
(left to right) is men's open finalist Sean Lacap, Sean Bailey,
tournament director Sean Grassie, and Nichol Wilson of Capital Partners.

Sean Bailey was a double winner at the 2014 Deer Lodge Classic, first beating Sean Lacap 6-0, 6-2 in the men's Open singles final. Bailey then teamed up with Chad Lacap to win the men's Open doubles, sweeping through the round-robin with a 3-0 record.

Bailey also reached the mixed Open doubles final with Samantha Lee, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Angela Earl and Shane Nicholls. 

Other event winners include: Daniel Gharagozloo (men's 4.5 singles), Braeden Debroni (men's 3.5 singles), Samantha Lee (women's 4.5 singles) and Melissa Serbin (women's 3.5 singles).

A record 90 players participated in the tournament, held June 14-22 at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club. Included was a four-player wheelchair singles round-robin. Won by Sam Unrau, it was the first wheelchair event to be part of a sanctioned Tennis Manitoba tournament.

Up next on the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour is the Manitoba Open, July 5-13 at the Kildonan Tennis Club.

2014 Junior Outdoor Regionals / Nationals

Eligible juniors wishing to participate in the 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals / Canadian Nationals are required to communicate their participation commitment prior to 12:00 pm (noon) on July 8, 2014.

The up-coming Prairie Regionals are used as a selection tournament for juniors from Manitoba and Saskatchewan wishing to represent our region at the Outdoor Rogers Junior Nationals. Those that would like to participate should review Tennis Manitoba’s Junior Nationals Selection Eligibility, Process and Policy Updates.

The 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals take place July 22 - 24 at Taylor Tennis, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In addition, a full day training camp is scheduled for Friday, July 25th.

Juniors that would like to compete at the 2014 Outdoor Prairie Regionals (or Outdoor Rogers Junior Nationals) are required to communicate their commitment no later than 12 pm (noon) on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Please email Jared Connell at with participant details (i.e. player name, age categories wishing to complete, contact email and phone number). Only those juniors that meet Tennis Manitoba’s Junior Nationals Selection Eligibility will be selected.

See also...
 » Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour
 » Rankings Update: Rogers Rankings for Manitoba Juniors
 » National Junior Open Series

Tennis Canada Instructor Course - Level 1

Tennis Manitoba is planning to offer a Tennis Canada Instructor Course - Level 1.

The course is a national certification and is 35 hours in duration. In order to offer the course, a minimum number of participants are required. If you are interested, please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or email

Friday, 20 June 2014

Play more tennis at a community center near you

Tennis Manitoba's executive director, Mark Arndt, works the
 mini-tennis courts at Corydon Community Centre in River Heights.

Several community centers in Winnipeg have partnered with Tennis Manitoba this summer to offer a variety of tennis programs for various ages and skill levels. Whether you have played before, are looking to improve your game, or just want some fun exercise, there is a program for you.

The summer evening sessions start July 21 and run for eight weeks. The program fee is $60, where participants can choose from beginner or intermediate FUNdamentals programs, or take part in Cardio tennis to get a high energy aerobic workout.

Participating locations include Corydon Community Centre, Linden Woods Community Centre, Notre Dame Community Centre, Riverview Community Centre, Valley Gardens Community Centre, and Windsor Community Centre.

For additional information visit

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wheelchair tennis takes off at Deer Lodge Classic

default video player to use on WFP

By: Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press

Whoever says wheelchair tennis is harder than it looks doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

That’s because it’s practically impossible – at least for this able-bodied tennis player.

The wheelchair version requires upper arm strength and coordination to maneuver a sports wheelchair in all directions at varying speeds so you arrive at the ball at the right time, plus all the racquet skills to produce the optimal amount of power and spin when you hit your shot.

Mobility is crucial in this sport because if you can’t move your chair around the court, it doesn’t matter if you have Rafael Nadal’s ground strokes, you won’t get your racquet on the ball.

Wheelchair tennis has been played for decades both in Manitoba and around the world but it wasn’t until this week in the province that a sanctioned tournament – The Deer Lodge Classic – included a wheelchair event.

Sean Grassie, head pro and tournament director at Deer Lodge Tennis Club, said it only made sense to combine the two versions of the same sport. There is a round-robin singles draw throughout the week and a doubles exhibition will be played on Sunday before the men’s able-bodied singles final.

"We’re going to try to showcase the wheelchair events when it’s busy at the club when people are around to watch. They’re looking forward to it," he said.

Two of the four participants in the men’s wheelchair singles, Jason Betker and Sam Unrau, agreed to give me a lesson in their sport. (They’re also paired up as one of the two men’s teams in the wheelchair doubles.)

Their first tip was to always be moving. It’s very difficult to stop and start in a wheelchair but changing direction or speeds can be done relatively easily while in motion.

Second, you’ve got to learn to explode out of the blocks when starting a point and propel yourself forward while holding on to your racquet in your dominant hand. Betker, who suffered a spinal cord injury 14 years ago while on a dirt bike, was introduced to the sport last year by some sledge hockey teammates. He thinks it’s great to have the wheelchair event alongside the able-bodied ones.

"It gives awareness to everybody that people in chairs can get out and enjoy themselves and do the same activities that able-bodied people do," he said.

Unrau, who was born with Spina Bifida and is missing part of his spine, agreed. He got into wheelchair tennis when he was just 10 years old and was a quick learner. He earned a spot on Team Manitoba at the 2007 and 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.

"We’ve been able to grow the sport of wheelchair tennis to the point where we can participate in events like the Deer Lodge Classic. It’s awesome," he said. Their final tip applies to any sport, wheelchair or able-bodied.

"Practice, practice, practice," Unrau said.

Wheelchair tennis players Jason Betker, left and Sam Unrau
explain the fundamentals of wheelchair tennis to Free Press
 reporter Geoff Kirbyson (centre).
Tennis player Sam Unrau at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club.
Additional wheelchair tennis news

Bailey up for Clay Court Challenge

The Manitoba Clay Court Challenge, recently held at Taylor Tennis in Winnipeg, lived up to its namesake.

At the top of the men's open draw was number 1 seeded player Kevin Kylar, who has dominated the local tennis scene by going undefeated in Tennis Manitoba sanctioned tournaments in 2013. Kylar's recent focus has been on chasing his first ATP points at Futures tournamenrts held around the world.

And in the challenger's corner stood the No. 2 seed Sean Bailey, who is Austin Peay’s first four-time all-conference honoree in men’s NCAA tennis.

When the dust settled on the Taylor clay courts, it was the challenger Bailey who out-battled Kylar in a third set tie-breaker to claim Manitoba men's tennis supremacy with a match score of 7-5 4-6 7-6(7).

Bailey is the top seed in the men's open draw at the Deer Lodge Classic currently taking place at the Deer Lodge Tennis Club in Winnipeg. The Classic wraps up this Sunday with the men's final scheduled to start at 12 noon.

In other action, it was Tom Brown defeating Brent Prusak 6-2 6-2 in the men`s 4.5 final. Gary Ma outlasted Mack Ritcher 6-4 6-3 in men's 3.5 final.

A complete listing of match scores are available at

Next up on the Tennis Manitoba Open Tour is the Wheat City Tennis Championships being held in Brandon, June 27 - 29. The online entry deadline is June 23 at 12 noon. For more details, visit

Monday, 16 June 2014

Prairie Cup Wheelchair Tennis Championships head to Calgary

Last year Manitoba held the inaugural Prairie Cup Wheelchair Tennis Championships at the Kildonan Tennis Club during the 2013 Manitoba Open Tennis Championships. (See story at Wheelchair tennis tournament first of its kind in Manitoba.)

The Prairie Cup has grown into a Western Canada competition, and will be incorporated into the 2014 Alberta Open held July 24 - 27 in Calgary.

Transportation is available for wheelchair athletes. Please contact BJ Engerdahl to book by July 16, 2014.

      BJ Engerdahl, BTG Program Coordinator
      Phone: 780-918-1046
      Toll Free: 1-888-453-6770

Closer to home, wheelchair athletes will also have an opportunity to compete at the 2014 Manitoba Open Tennis Championships and the Deer Lodge Classic.

2014 Alberta Open tournament site
> Additional wheelchair tennis news

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

U.S. College Recruiting Guide

The pathway from the Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour to US college tennis and the potential to receive an athletic scholarship is an incredible opportunity. Not only is US college tennis a great athletic and academic opportunity for a young aspiring tennis player and has a tremendous financial value, but there are many intangible benefits from pursuing this worthy pathway.

To help aspiring student-athletes, Tennis Canada has published the United States College Recruiting Guide. The resource will help athletes, parents and junior coaches acquire valuable knowledge and plan for a US college tennis career.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

National Junior Open Series

Tennis Canada has added three national events for U12 - U16 juniors,
 to help earn more national ranking points and entry into the
Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals. (Photo: Tennis Manitoba)

Tennis Canada — A series of three National Junior Open Series events will take place in July and August in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The events are open to all junior players in the Under 12, Under 14, and Under 16 age divisions.

Each tournament has the equivalent to quarter final national ranking points, with bonus ranking opportunities based on strength of draw, and will provide players the potential of a direct entry to the Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals in August.

Get more details at

Monday, 9 June 2014

Road to Nationals continues with WOW Junior

World of Water Junior Open tournament director Peter Otto
 with U14 girl's champion, Reece Carter (left), and U16 girl's
champion, Monika Popovic (right).

The World of Water Junior Open concluded on Sunday at the Kildonan Tennis Club, with Manitoba juniors picking up valuable ranking points en route to participating in this summer's Prairie Regionals and Rogers Junior National Championships competitions.

The WOW Junior champions were as follows:
  • U12 boy's: Marcello Audino
  • U12 girl's: Elinor Shpunt
  • U14 girl's: Reece Carter
  • U16 girl's: Monika Popovic.
View complete World of Water Junior Open match results

Next up on the 2014 Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour:
Current Rogers Rankings for Manitoba juniors:
Details for Junior Tour Rankings for National Qualification.

Click on image to view the
2014 World of Water Junior Open photo album.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Norwood hosts summer wheelchair programs

Norwood Community Center will once again be the host site for summer wheelchair programs run by Tennis Manitoba and the Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association.

The programs take place on Thursday evenings for both youth and adults, starting July 3rd. Introductory sessions are provided for those new to tennis, as well as developmental training for the more experienced wheelchair tennis players. All equipment is provided for participants.

If you are interested in the wheelchair tennis programs, or know someone that is, please contact Tennis Manitoba at (204) 925-5660 or for additional details.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Juniors move closer to Nationals at Tuxedo Junior Open

Shawn Sophasath prepares to serve in U14 boy's action at
Tuxedo Tennis Club, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Tuxedo Junior Open concluded on Sunday, with Manitoba juniors competing for ranking points which moves them a step closer to participating in the Rogers Junior National Championships.

The champions were as follows:
  • U12 boy's: Marcello Audino
  • U14 & U16 boy's: Daniel Gharagozloo
  • U18 boy's: Cole Lacap
  • U12 & U14 girl's: Sabrina Alano
  • U16 girl's: Elinor Shpunt.
View complete Tuxedo Junior Open match results

Next up on the 2014 Tennis Manitoba Junior Tour:
Current Rogers Rankings for Manitoba juniors:
Details for Junior Tour Rankings for National Qualification.