After a year of unforced errors and double faults, Canadian tennis is on the come-up.
Driving the news: Over the weekend, Team Canada brought home its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup title. The squad conquered the most prestigious team tournament in women’s tennis on the back of 21-year-old phenom Leylah Fernandez, who finished undefeated.
- The stunning victory comes a year after the Canadian men’s team won the Davis Cup — the men’s equivalent of the Billie Jean King Cup.
Why it matters: Before the cup, it had been a rough year for Canadian tennis. No Canuck had made it to the semi-finals of any of the Grand Slams, while stars like Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and 2019 U.S. Open winner Bianca Andreescu all dealt with injuries.
- Per Tennis Canada, over 6.5 million Canadians are playing the sport annually. And now, Canada’s tennis program has proved again why it's amongst the world’s best.
- The body is continuing to try and grow the game throughout the country, with a plan to fund 160 year-round courts (very necessary for Canadian winters) by 2029.
Big picture: Much like Canada’s newfound success in men’s soccer and burgeoning interest in cricket, the rise of tennis has been fuelled by newcomers. Fernandez, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime, and Andreescu are all the children of tennis-loving immigrants.—QH