Meet 7 Canadians who are dominating tennis courts around the world
Fans record the number of aces Canada's Milos Raonic serves to Mikhail Youzhny from Russia during second round of play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Wednesday August 7, 2013 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Saturday, August 10, 2013 3:07PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 10, 2013 8:13PM EDT
In this hockey-mad country, tennis stars aren’t necessarily household names. But with Canada’s recent success at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and Toronto, certain names are generating buzz on and off the court.
Name: Milos Raonic, 22 (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Raonic was born in Podgorica, Montenegro and moved to Canada when he was three. He started playing tennis when he was eight and was among the first group of players to join Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal when it opened in 2007. According to the Association of Tennis Professionals, Raonic prefers hard-surfaced courts and favours his serve and overhead shot. In 2011 the ATP named Raonic Newcomer of the Year after he went from being ranked 156 at the beginning of the season to 31 by the end.
Rogers Cup Performance: Raonic faced fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the semi-final match in Montreal on Saturday and won 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4). He moves on to the finals on Sunday to face Rafael Nadal.
Name: Vasek Pospisil, 23 (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Born in Vernon, B.C., Vasek Pospisil started playing tennis at the age of five under the tutelage of his tennis coaching father Milos. He has been a member of Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal since 2010 where he practices his favourite shot, the forehand. His hobbies include listening to music and hanging out with friends. Pospisil’s goal is to be a consistent top 30 player and if he wasn't playing tennis he would have picked up soccer. Pospisil made his debut at the Canadian Davis Cup in February 2008 and broke into the top 100 worldwide this summer.
Rogers Cup performance: Pospisil faced fellow Canadian Milos Raonic, ranked 13th, in the Roger's Cup semi-final in Montreal on Saturday and lost 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4).
Name: Frank Dancevic, 28 (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Born in Niagara Falls, Frank Russell Dancevic began playing tennis at age eight. His father, John, is an engineer and his mother, Doris, is a hotel manager. As a child, Dancevic competed in soccer and hockey before picking up tennis. Off the court he enjoys fishing, golf and hitting the gym. He became a member of Canada's Davis Cup team in 2002. One of his biggest wins came in 2003 against Brazilian Flavio Saretta, which lifted Canada into World Group for first time in over a decade. He considers his serve to be his game's biggest strength.
Rogers Cup performance: Dancevic made it out of the first round of the 2013 Roger's Cup in Montreal after beating Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan 5-7, 7-6, 6-1 but lost to Poland's Jerzy Janowicz in the second round 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.
Name: Filip Peliwo, 19 (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Born in Vancouver, right-handed Peliwo started playing tennis at the age of five. In 2010 he competed in the Junior Davis Cup and in December 2012 he was named ITF Junior World Champion to become the only Canadian other than Daniel Nestor to do so. Personal interests include video games, soccer and basketball.
Rogers Cup performance: Earlier this week, Peliwo made it out of the first round at the Roger's Cup in Montreal where he recorded his first ATP World Tour win against Jarkko Nieminen 3-6, 7-5, 3-1 but lost in the second round to 33-ranked Denis Istomin.
Name: Eugenie Bouchard, 19 (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Born near Montreal, the right-handed Bouchard favours hard-surfaced courts. Bouchard has been training at Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal since 2009. In July, she broke into the WTA top 60 rankings and in May she won her first main draw match at a Grand Slam at the French Open. She has been on the scene for a relatively short period, playing her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.
Rogers Cup performance: Bouchard made it out of the first round at the 2013 Roger's Cup in Toronto beating Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-1 but lost in the second round to Petra Kvitova.
Name: Sharon Fichman, 22 (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Bio: Born and raised in Toronto, Fichman turned pro in 2005 and quickly climbed the ranks. In 2006 she was ranked No. 5 on the junior circuit. Fichman started playing at the age of six and by the time she was 13 she was the world's No. 2 player under 14. She is an aggressive player, known for her tenacity on the court, following in the footsteps of her father who was a semi-pro tennis player. Fichman's idol is Belgian tennis star Justine Henin.
Rogers Cup performance: Fichman reached the semifinals with teammate Gabriela Dabrowski at the 2013 Roger's Cup after upsetting top-ranked Italian team.
Name: Gabriela Dabrowski, 21 (Courtesy gabrieladabrowski.ca)
Bio: Dabrowski was born and raised in Ottawa where she took up tennis at the age of seven. Currently she is the highest ranked women's double player at 88. In 2006, she was the first Canadian to win the prestigious 14 and under tournament Les Petits As. Her hobbies include volleyball, ping pong and interior home design. She strives to be the best tennis player in the world and idolizes Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis.
Rogers Cup performance: Dabrowski, along with Sharon Fichman, will look to make tennis history at the Roger's Cup as they reach the semi-finals looking to become the first Canadian team to win the women's doubles title since 1969.