Is Richmond Hill Canada's Fastest Growing Tennis Community?

That is the question many are asking as the town seems to be producing some of the top players in the game. Maybe it's the drinking water or maybe its just a coincidence, whatever it is, it seems to be working.  

Milos Raonic

Although Canada's current #1 ranked player Milos Raonic is from Thornhill, Ontario, Milos spent his formative years learning the game in Richmond Hill under the guidance of one of Canada's top junior coaches, Casey Curtis. 

Milos trained under Casey from the age of 9 - 17 before he headed off to Montreal to train with Tennis Canada. Milos quickly made a name himself in 2011 at the Australian Open making to the fourth round with his booming serve that earned him the nickname, "the Missile". Milos continues to work on his game as he strives to become the #1 ranked player in the world.  

Denis Shapovalov (Shapo)

Following in Milos' footsteps is up and coming Richmond Hill Junior, Denis Shapovalov (Shapo) who burst onto the tennis scene in 2016, when at the age of 16 he won the Wimbledon Junior Championship. This earned him a wild card entry into the 2016 Rogers Cup where he stunned fans with a huge upset win over Australian bad boy and top 20 player Nick Kyrgios. Denis spent the next year working on his game, playing challenger tournaments to gain ATP points, and this earned him wild card entry into the 2017 Rogers Cup. 

Denis saved 5 match points in the first round against Rogerio Dutra Da Silva and went on to win the match pitting him against former top 10 player, Juan Martin Del Potro. Denis once again proved doubters wrong as he went on to beat DelPo 6-3,7-6 and this lead to a head to head showdown with world #2, Rafael Nadal. Once again, the 18 year old lethal lefty played without fear of losing and he stunned the tennis world with a three set win over Rafa. The win over Rafa was a huge confidence builder and signified the emergence of a new Canadian Tennis star. 

But Denis was not done, he moved on to face Adrian Mannarino who had beat Milos Raonic in strait sets. After a shaky first set lose, Denis adjusted to the Mannarino pace and took the next two sets for the win. That set up a head to head with the ATP tours rising star, 6'6" Sasha Zverev. Denis fell to Zverev, losing 3-6, 7-5 and Zverev went on to the finals and defeated tennis legend, Roger Federer in straight sets 6-3,6-4.  

Make no mistake, Richmond Hill's Denis Shapovalov has set the tennis world a blaze and he is putting Richmond Hill on the global tennis map with his incredible talents and "go for it" attitude. He is arguably one of the most exciting players in the game and he brings it every time he steps on the court. What is noticeable about Denis' play is that he shows no fear of losing and goes for every shot and that is why he will be the one to watch over the coming years. "It’s like watching a combination of [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer at 18 years old. - Mats Wilander 

The 2017 Rogers Cup was one of the most memorable moments in Canadian tennis. 

Erik and Kevin Kovacs

If that were not enough, Richmond Hill is home to 14 year old twins Erik and Kevin Kovacs who began hitting balls at the Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club since they were eight years old. They finished 1st and 2nd in the 2017 Under 14 Provincials for singles and won the doubles. The Kovac brothers have been coached by RHLTC high performance coach Casey Curtis who continues to produce top ranked players. The future is very bright for for both Kevin and Erik as they are both off to the Nationals in Mont Tremblant where they will take on Canada's top ranked players.  

The Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club (RHLTC)

The Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club is the only community tennis club in Richmond Hill but that will soon change. The Town of Richmond Hill recently approved a comprehensive "Tennis Strategy" that will set the stage for continued growth in the sport. The "Tennis Strategy" acknowledged the needs of the local tennis community and emphasized the important role community tennis clubs play by providing a "Pathway" for families and young kids into the game of tennis. But there is still more work to be done.

On a personal note, there is nothing more daunting or in my case discouraging than heading over to the local community tennis club as I did in 2008 as newby/beginner with my then 12 year old son, looking through the fence and concluding that we do not belong there. The reality is, most community clubs are frequented by long time players who are well established in the game. Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club was no different but we have taken steps to change that and we are now well on our way to building a vibrant tennis community that is inclusive and recognizes the needs of all residents/players.    

Richmond Hill is one of the fastest growing tennis communities in Canada and the "Tennis Strategy" will open the door for more opportunities to play while providing a "Pathway" into the game for everyone.   

Mike Bowcott

President 2012-2017

Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club

Tennis Lessons

Questions about our tennis lessons? You can reach us by email or telephone.

Email: lessons@rhltc.ca

Telephone: (905) 499-3860

Club Operations

Club Manager: manager@rhltc.ca

Telephone: (905) 737-2491

161 Newkirk Road,
Richmond Hill, ON
(We're located at Crosby Park)

"I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all, I love to play". Boris Becker
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