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Top 8 Canadian tennis players of all time

Canada, unlike its neighbor the United States, has not had much success in tennis. But the current generation of Canadian tennis players offers a lot of hope.

In each of the past four years, Canadian players have won semi-finals, finals or Grand Slam trophies in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories

The most prominent tennis tournament in Canada is the Canadian Masters or 'The Rogers Cup' – a combined men's and women's competition that attracts the best tennis talent from around the world. For men, it is classified as a Masters 1000 event under the auspices of the ATP and for women it is classified as a Premier 5 tournament under the auspices of the WTA.

Each year, the venue changes between Montreal and Toronto. If one year the tournament for the men is held in Toronto, Montreal will host the event for the women. The following year, the order is reversed.

Tennis has a long way to go in Canada before catching up to more popular sports such as ice hockey and lacrosse. But there are still some notable players from the country over the years.

Here, we take a look at eight of Canada's greatest tennis athletes:

8. Mike Belkin

Mike Belkin was one of the earliest Canadian tennis players to make a mark in the sport. During his 14-year career that began in 1961, Belkin was Canada's top-ranked player for five consecutive years – between 1966 and 1972.

A player more suited to hitting the baseline with her powerful groundstrokes, she added the serve and volley to her repertoire later in her career.

Belkin's best performance at Grand Slam level came at the 1968 Australian Open (the first to be held in the Open Era). He made it to the quarterfinals that year, losing to top seed William Boury.

Belkin recorded wins against top-ranked players such as Roscoe Tanner, Jan Kodes, and Jimmy Connors during his career.

7. Vasek Pospisil at the ChampionshipsVasek Pospisil - Wimbledon 2015

Vasek Pospisil holds career-high rankings of World No. 25 in singles and World No. 4 in doubles.

Although a player more accustomed to the doubles format, Pospisil has also achieved some success at the singles level, reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2015.

In doubles, he has won 6 ATP titles including the prestigious Wimbledon Championships in 2014 with his American partner Jack Sock. They defeated the Bryan twins in the final in an epic five-set contest – one of the best doubles finals ever played at the All England Club.

At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Pospisil and compatriot Daniel Nestor missed out on a medal as they lost their bronze medal match to American pair Steve Johnson and Jack Sock.

Since 2017, Pospisil has been coached by Hall of Famer and doubles veteran Mark Woodforde.

6. Grant Connell 

Grant Connell and Glenn Michibata

Grant Connell, one of the world's top doubles players since the mid-1990s, achieved the doubles world No. 1 ranking in November 1993.

In his 11-year career, Connell won 22 doubles titles. He reached at least the semifinals of each of the four Grand Slam tournaments, finishing as runner-up at the Australian Open in 1990, and also as runner-up at the Wimbledon Championships on three separate occasions – 1993, 1994, and 1996. .

Her doubles partner early in her career was Glenn Michibata. After Michibata's retirement, Connell and Patrick Galbraith formed a successful partnership, winning 12 titles including the 1995 ATP Finals Doubles Trophy.

In the latter part of his career, Connell partnered with Byron Black and the two won four titles together. Connell was a member of Canada's 1991 and 1992 teams, their first to qualify for the World Group.

5. Gabriela Dabrowski 

Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna with the 2017 French Open trophy

Gabriela Dabrowski is the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam title in any category. He achieved this feat at the 2017 French Open Championships with Indian partner Rohan Bopanna.

The following year, she finished as runner-up in mixed doubles at Roland Garros.

Doubles specialist Dabrowski reached a career-best ranking of world No. 7 in March this year, and is currently ranked world No. 9. His second Grand Slam title came this year at the Australian Open with Croatia's Mate Pavic.

In her budding tennis career, Dabrowski has won 8 WTA doubles titles and 2 mixed doubles titles. She is one of four Canadian tennis players to enter the top 10 in either the singles or doubles rankings.

Dabrowski's doubles partners in 2018 have been Xu Yifan of China and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

4. Sebastien Lareau

Sébastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor after winning the gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000

Sébastien Lareau was the first Canadian tennis athlete to win a Grand Slam title in any category. He achieved this feat at the 1999 US Open with his American partner Alex O'Brien. The pair defeated the Indian pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the final.

Lareau reached a career-high doubles ranking of world No. 4 in October 1999 following a US Open victory. In the same year he again won the ATP Finals tournament with O'Brien.

Lareau continued his good form in the 2000 tennis season, securing the gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games with compatriot Daniel Nestor. Remarkably, they beat home favorites and top seeds Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge in the final.

Lareau won a total of 17 ATP doubles titles in his career, including four ATP Masters Series titles.

3. Eugenie Bouchard

Named after Princess Eugenie of York, tennis sensation Eugenie Bouchard draws crowds wherever she goes. His Hollywood looks and charming personality have made Bouchard one of the world's best-selling athletes.

The 24-year-old achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 5 in 2014. After winning the 'WTA Newcomer of the Year' award in 2013, the following year was a success for Bouchard as she made the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Open, and the French Open, and also the final at Wimbledon.

Her runner-up finish at Wimbledon made her the first and only Canadian woman to play in the final of a Grand Slam singles event. Her 2014 exploits earned her the 'WTA Most Improved Player of the Year' award.

Bouchard prefers to play from the baseline with aggressive groundstrokes. His form has declined in recent years, but luckily his time is still on his side.

She will look to perform well and recreate the heights she achieved in 2014 in the upcoming 2019 season.

2. Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic of Monaco is the highest ranked Canadian tennis player of all time in singles. He achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 3 in November 2016.

Raonic has been performing consistently well at the ATP level for almost six years. With nearly $17.5 million in prize money, he is already ranked in the top 25 highest prize-money earners.

One of the most dominant servers on tour, Raonic has won 91% of his service games in his career. The 6'5" Canadian is currently coached by former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.

The highlight of Raonic's career so far has been his performance at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships where he defeated Roger Federer in the semi-finals. 

He would eventually end up runner-up to home favorite Andy Murray

All eight of Raonic's ATP title wins have come on hard courts, with one each at the Chennai Open and San Jose Open.

1. Daniel NesterDaniel

The recently retired Daniel Nestor is one of the greatest doubles players to have ever played the game. Nestor's career lasted 28 years, and during those years he scored 1062 victories.

Nestor won 91 career doubles titles (second only to the Bryan twins). Important among them are 8 Grand Slam singles titles, the Olympic gold medal with Sébastien Lareau at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and 5 ATP Finals trophies.

She also tasted considerable success at the mixed doubles level, winning 4 Grand Slam titles overall.

Nestor was the first player in tennis history to win each Grand Slam and Masters Series event, the Year End ATP Finals Championship, and the Olympic gold medal at least once in his career.

From 1991 to 2018, Nestor played with 76 partners in doubles and 26 in mixed doubles. He holds the record for winning titles in more countries than any other player.

Nestor has won titles in 38 different countries with 43 different partners.

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