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|Headquarters||Aviva Centre, Toronto and Uniprix Stadium, Montreal|
|Chief Exec||Kelly Murumets|
|Sponsor||Sport Canada, International Tennis Federation|
Tennis Canada is the national governing body of tennis within Canada. It works together with the provincial associations to organize tournaments and rules. They also oversee the Canada Davis Cup team and the Canada Fed Cup team. Tennis Canada was formed in 1890 and is a full member of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Tennis Canada operates under the auspices of Sport Canada, and is a member of the Canadian Olympic Association. Tennis Canada’s event management team is directly responsible for all national and international competitions in Canada, including junior, senior and wheelchair championships.
The Canadian Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) was formed on July 1, 1890 in Toronto. Delegates were present from at least thirteen clubs: six Toronto tennis clubs, including the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club; two clubs from Montreal; and clubs from London, Ottawa, St. Catharine's, Peterboro, and Petrolea. Charles Smith Hyman, who won the Canadian Championships (later known as the Canadian Open) singles title five times in the 1880s, was chosen as its first president and served three one year terms (1890–1892). The CLTA began organizing the Canadian Championships at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, starting with the 1890 tournament. They adopted the rules of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the club which hosts Wimbledon. Beginning in 1894, the CLTA began organizing a junior championship for boys 18 years old and under.
In the first quarter century of its existence, two men served lengthy terms as president of the CLTA: Henry Gordon MacKenzie for eight years (1893–1900), and A.C. McMaster for thirteen years (1904–1916). The International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) was formed in 1913, and the CLTA was invited to be a founding member but declined. In 1915, with many players fighting in World War I, the CLTA decided to suspend Canadian participation in the Davis Cup and also suspend the Canadian Championships. During the war, Canadian tournaments were suspended, except where "the entire proceeds were devoted to the Red Cross or other patriotic funds." In 1919, the CLTA resumed Canadian tournaments, but passed resolutions restricting Canadian players from competing "in tournaments authorized by Germans, Austrians, Turks, or Bulgarians" (i.e. Central Powers) and barring players from those nations from competing in Canadian tournaments. In 1920, Canada sought to return to Davis Cup play, but issued a late withdrawal citing an inability "to secure players of Davis Cup calibre."
Garnett H. Meldrum was president of the CLTA for twelve years (1922–1933). Meldrum, who had previously been a founding member of the Ontario Lawn Tennis Association, boosted the international prestige of the Canadian Championships and began moving the tournament around Canada. The 1931 tournament, for example, was held in Vancouver. In 1922, the CLTA began publishing a magazine, Canadian Lawn Tennis; the first issue included the complete rules governing Canadian tennis. By 1927, the CLTA had joined the ILTF. In 1928, Meldrum proposed that one junior boy from each province be sent to the Canadian Championships as a means of stimulating improvement in their game. At that time, there were 366 clubs and over 24,000 players affiliated with the CLTA. Robert N. Watt served as president for nine years (1937–1945), and later became the first Canadian president of the ILTF in 1957. In 1938, the CLTA formed a national player development commission.
During World War II, the CLTA suspended participation in the Davis Cup and also suspended the Canadian Championships. As during the first world war, war-benefit tournaments were held in Canada.
In 1975, Josef Brabenec Sr. was named the first Canadian national tennis coach. During his tenure, he designed national junior development and national coaching certification programs. In 1976, the CLTA began renting a four-acre site on the grounds of York University in Toronto for one dollar per year for the purpose of building a five-court tennis centre at a cost of one million dollars to be the home of the Canadian Open tournament.
The organizational membership is made up of ten provincial and one territorial associations.
As of 2016, the Chair of the Board is Derrick Rowe, while the President and Chief Executive Officer is Kelly Murumets. Directors include Marc Bibeau, Jennifer Bishop, Jack Graham (emeritus), Hector MacKay-Dunn, Stephen Mandel, Andrée Martin, Nadir Mohamed, and Mike Tevlin.
Tennis Canada owns and operates the Canadian Open (marketed as the Rogers Cup since 2000), a joint men's and women's competition which attracts the top players in the world. For men, the Canadian Open is a Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour; for women, it is a Premier 5 event on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour. In odd-numbered years, the men's tournament is held in Montreal, while the women's tournament is held in Toronto, and vice versa in even-numbered years.
Tennis Canada also owns and operates the National Bank Cup, a WTA International tournament held in Quebec City; five ATP Challenger Tour tournaments in Drummondville, Winnipeg, Gatineau, Granby, and Vancouver; and several lower-level ITF-sanctioned professional tournaments for men and women. In 2015, these included events in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Gatineau.
At the junior level, Tennis Canada operates eight junior national championships for Canadian juniors each year, including both indoor and outdoor events in four age categories: under-12, under-14, under-16, and under-18. They also host several ITF-sanctioned junior tournaments from Grade 1[a] to Grade 5 open to international players. The largest of these is the Grade 1 level Canadian Open Junior Tennis Championships held in Repentigny, Quebec.
Tennis Canada is responsible for organizing Canadian teams for the Fed Cup, Davis Cup, Hopman Cup, the Olympics, and Paralympics.
Tennis Canada, in partnership with the Provincial Tennis Associations, launched Rogers Rankings on January 1, 2009. This new and enhanced ranking system is based on the proven Elo rating system used for ranking chess players and has been developed and used with exceptional accuracy by the Quebec Tennis Federation for over twenty-five years. The Rogers Rankings allows all competitors to compare themselves to the nation’s top players. Similar systems have also been in use in Spain and France. The Rogers Rankings system awards points to players based on quality of wins (i.e. head-to-head results) versus rounds won in a tournament. The system generates accurate rankings due to its ability to evaluate the calibre of competing players. Based on this premise, the stronger player is expected to win while the weaker player is expected to lose. Players are ranked according to points accumulated in national, provincial and international tournaments sanctioned by the Tennis Canada ranking committee. Player points are used to compute a national and provincial ranking. To ensure accuracy, Tennis Canada and the PTAs began testing the system internally on January 1, 2008.
- ITF-sanctioned junior tournaments are graded. Grade A is the highest level, including junior Grand Slams and a few others. This is followed by Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, and Grade 5 (the lowest level).
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