Canada is celebrating its 40th year of delivering on world-class tennis, and they are enjoying unprecedented success in the international arena.
Forty years ago tennis was a sport for the select few. The Canadian stars were trained in private clubs and the entire tennis scene was immersed in an unhealthy presumed privilege. Today that picture has changed entirely, and most of the outstanding tennis talent delivered by the country is stemming from elsewhere in the world — the children of immigrants. Félix Auger-Alisassime is a teenage sensation whose father is originally from Togo in West Africa. Vasek Pospisil has roots in the Czech Republic. Milos Raonic is a child of Montenegro. Bianca Andreescu started her tennis career in Romania, the homeland of her parents. Fernandez’s parents lived in Laval in Ecuador. What seems to be the common denominator between all these stars is that somewhere in the more recent history, their parents moved from elsewhere to settle in Canada.
Their parents decided to make the sacrifice of working hard to provide a better future for their children. Tennis is no longer only for the Canadian elite. It isn’t only the children of immigrants who achieve success through hard work on the court. Eugenie Bouchard is from Canadian decent, and even though she has been going through a couple of tough times on the court, she is very dedicated and hard at work to achieve great success. They are very successful. For the first time in history, four Canadian male players are represented on the ATP 100 rankings. Canadian teen sensations Leyla Annie Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu are climbing the ladder of success on the women’s rankings. Some of the young Canadian talent to keep an eye out for is Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu.
There are many reasons why Felix is considered to be the 2019 breakout player. Not only is he dominating much more seasoned players, but he also moved up to be the youngest player featuring on the top 100. He defeated Tsitsipas during the Indian Wells, Grigor Dimitrov had to bend the knee before him at Queens Club and so did Nick Kyrgios. He also became the youngest star to reach the semi-finals during the Miami Open. The youngster is only 18 years old, and already he has the tennis world at his feet.
Her most inspiring attribute is coming back from dire situations. This year Andreescu is moving up the ladder at a tremendous speed and recently became the fifth Canadian to enter the courter finals since 1979 in the Rogers Cup. Her motto driving her to success is that if you don’t succeed, you need to find a way to deliver what is required to bring you back to where you belong. The 19-year-old star is currently 27th ranked on ATP rankings and is promising an exciting contribution to the future of Canadian tennis. Indeed it is no longer the face which was presented forty years ago by the Canadian tennis elite.
FIFA announced this week that a unanimous decision was made that the 2023 Women’s World Cup will allow 32 teams to participate. This is equal to the number of teams participating in the Men’s Cup since 1998 and putting the two events on a level playing field.
Women’s Football Growing Undeniably
The great success that the Women’s World Cup had this year in France, as the hosting country, made it clear to all that women’s soccer is growing into a much larger sporting event. The event in France recorded record viewing numbers from all over the globe. It is considered to be the Women’s World Cup which was the most-watched in the history of the tournament. To keep up with the momentum which the competition created, FIFA made the change to allow an expanded version of the match. This was according to Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA. He also mentioned that he is very excited about this becoming a reality for women’s soccer and that this is only the first of many more proposal to enhance the game.
Updates on Hosting Requirements
Currently, eight countries have placed bids on hosting the event, of the nine states which were expected to bid by October this year. These include Australia, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, Bolivia, New Zealand, Japan and Colombia. These countries, as well as other eligible countries, will receive updates on the new bidding requirements to host the more significant event. Those who have already placed their bids are now allowed to withdraw from the game if they so decide and others can still add their request. The process is due to close again in December this year and then during May, next year FIFA will announce the hosting country for the 2023 event. FIFA made this decision remotely, and it came ahead of a formal meeting, which is due to take place later this year in Shanghai.
Allowing for Better Opportunities in Women’s Soccer
By expanding the event to 32 teams, many more women will now have the possibility of qualifying to play on the international level. Since the tournament is seen as the top of the pyramid of women’s soccer, being hosted only every four years, it is vital to give all women dedicated to the sport, a fair chance of excelling in it. It will also mean that much smaller clubs will now have a goal to work towards and start to prepare their teams to qualify on an international level. The decision made by FIFA is considered a great stride towards strengthening the future of this sport for women. Since 1991 when only 12 teams were participating, the event has grown to the 24 teams which competed in France. The United States National Women’s Team were the champions this year. Ultimately FIFA is aiming at strengthening not only the desire to achieve but also to develop the much-needed infrastructure to accommodate these events.
This year the Shiseido WTA Finals taking place in Shenzhen is the highlight in a series of a great play. After the season-long ranking, based on the Porsche Race Rankings, eight of the best is determined to compete against each other for an actual record-breaking amount of money.
A Record in Sport History
After signing with Shiseido, the WTA Finals winner is set to win a historically record-breaking sum of money. This was made possible by the generosity of the name-bearing sponsor. The total prize money for the tournament has been doubled since last year from $7million to $14million, and the undefeated champion in the singles stand to win $4.75 million. This amount is exceeding not only the prize money for all four the major grand slams but also the price money of other international sporting events. These include the Masters Champions, the ICC Cricket World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Tour de France.
The History of the WTA Finals
The first finals were held in 1972 in Florida’s Boca Raton. The amount on the champion’s check back then reflected $25 000. Since back then it was held in 12 different cities from various countries. During the years the list of hosts included the United State, Europe, the Middle East as well as Asia. When Singapore passed the honour on to Shenzhen during a 10-year hosting deal, it was considered to be a landmark in history.
Since the first finals, there have been 22 champions lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy in the air. The most successful of these was Martina Navratilova, who had the honour of holding it high eight times during her career, followed by German pride, Steffi Graff and the US Serena Williams both winning five times. Of the most recent 16 champions, eight were undefeated. With the 2018 winner, Elina Svitolina, being the most recent.
Shiseido is the largest cosmetic company in Japan and ranks as the fifth-largest in the world. They are known for their involvement in tennis due to having Naomi Osaka, the tennis sensation from Japan, as their brand ambassador. Shiseido is committed to the empowerment of women. They want to not only create better opportunities for the younger players but also create a great synergy between the company and the WTA Finals. The tournament’s slogan “Sparks Will Fly” is to celebrate the new relationship. Their marketing campaign is going to include some of the most influential women in the world of tennis, with Jennifer Zhang being the face with whom they start with. Zhang was the first Chinese female umpire in the WTA tour.
Shiseido considers the WTA as a leader in the world of professional sports when it comes to enabling equal opportunities for females. This is a perfect alignment with Shiseido’s vision and ideals of empowering women. Both sides are also very pleased with having Shenzhen being the hosting city. Shenzhen is a city which is in the lead of all innovation trends currently in China and maybe even the world.
The pressure of a local crowd rested firmly on this humble Irishman’s shoulders while the weather wasn’t in his favour. He managed to bring great jubilation for the local supporters when winning The Open in Portrush.
The Moment of Glory
The 32year-old Lowry managed to lift the Claret Jug, not only for himself but for entire Ireland as well. He started the final round with a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood playing for England. Through adverse weather conditions of rain and wind, he managed to parlay and enter into a six-shot win. Lowry closed the tournament on 1-over-par 72, and he also posted 15-under 269 total.
He delivered an immaculate performance for the first three days, but it was on the final day when the weather turned against him, and he had to refocus himself into the game a couple of times. Success on the Antrim coast was his, and the crowds couldn’t contain themselves. The strong presence of local support was visible through the number of Irish flags in the groups, and you could hear them chanting his name. When victory belonged to Ireland, the marshals had their hands full to keep the crowds off the greens. Lowry admitted later on to the added pressure he felt playing in front of a local group. An Irish win on Irish soil brought him however more than just the prize money of $1 935 000, but he also becomes the number one player for the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. It is also bringing the hope to Ireland that this win will sway the vote towards Ireland being chosen to host the 2026 Ryder Cup.
Winning The Open was the first significant cup which Lowry held in his hands. The Offaly man as he is nicknamed as a child of Clara in County Offaly was a scholar at the Athlone Institute of Technology. His amateur career debuted when he won the Irish Amateur Close Champion in 2007. It was, however, his win of the Irish Open, while still an amateur player, which entered him into the Official World Golf Ranking. It was shortly after this victory that he turned professional and debuted this career with the European Open in 2009. Some of his early highlights include finishing third in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in 2009 in Japan and then in early 2010 he finished fourth in the Abu Dhabi Gold Championship. This win placed him in the ranks of the top 100 players on the Official World Golf Ranking list.
Lowry stems from a family of sporting legends representing Ireland. His family is initially from Ferbane and are mostly famous for Gaelic football. His father, Brendan Lowry as well as his two uncles, Mick and Sean Lowry achieved All-Ireland medals for their contribution in 1982. All of them played for the club in Offaly. Lowry’s dad was also the All-Star winner of 1981. He was the then best-left corner-forward playing for Ireland.