In recent years Canada has struggled to produce truly great tennis players with its best hope dwindling away in both the ATP and WTA rankings. Things are set to change however following the success of two top Canadian junior players at this year’s Wimbledon.
At just 18 years old, Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal and Filip Peliwo of Vancouver are currently leading a crop of prodigious young tennis talent who are certain to lead Canada into a bright future in tennis. Bouchard, who won both the junior girls’ singles and doubles titles, and Peliwo who was the boys’ singles champions, are the first players in Canada’s history to do so confirming Louis Borfiga’s (the manager of the country’s national tennis centre) that “Canada has become a country with ambitions”.
Although this is the country’s first success to make news headlines, the junior players’ triple wins at the All England Tennis Club last week is just one of a series of occurrences that show just how much Canada’s tennis star is on the rise. Milos Roanic has successfully broken into the ATP’s top 30 rankings – the highest spot held by a Canadian since the rankings were established in 1973 – and Rebecca Marino and Aleksandra Wozniak have started to make waves in the women’s tennis arena.
The country’s rise in the junior tennis scene is in no small part down to Lous Borfiga, who was hired to create and manage a national development programme for tennis players. Having already proven his success in France, where he produced a number of top boys’ players including Sebastian Grosjean and Fabrice Santoro, Borfiga selects the most promising boys and girls players from across the country to train at the Jarry Park centre in Montreal.
Although the gap between junior and professional tournaments is a substantial one, both Bouchard and Peliwo are aiming to break into the pro circuit this year by participating in smaller tournaments. Their strong performances at Wimbledon are sure to make them a force to be reckoned with, however, and Borfiga has every faith in their abilities to play and beat “players in the top 100 or 200”.