Above photo: Manitoba’s Kylie Waschuk plays on the Grand Canyon University women’s tennis team. Photo courtesy of GCU.
With International Women’s Day this week (March 8), Tennis Manitoba looks at the careers of some of the province’s female tennis champions as well as some of the international women’s tennis events held in Winnipeg.
- Hilda Lewis won nine Manitoba Open women’s singles titles, including seven in a row from 1920-26. Inducted into the Manitoba Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007, Lewis was a longtime member of the Wildewood Club.
- Eleanor O’Gorman was a six-time Manitoba Open women’s singles champion. She captured a silver medal for Manitoba in women’s doubles with teammate Judy Peake at the inaugural Canada Summer Games in 1969 in Halifax/Dartmouth. O’Gorman, inducted in 2007 into the Manitoba Tennis Hall of Fame, won the Canadian 40+ women’s doubles title with her sister Isabel Feasby.
- Judy Peake won the Canadian U13 girls’ singles tennis championship in 1955 and added the U15 national title two years later. She was also a two-time Canadian junior girls’ doubles tennis champion, winning both times with a player from Halifax. Peake won a total of five women’s singles, 13 women’s doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles at the Manitoba Open. In recognition of her accomplishments in tennis and badminton, she was named Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year in 1970. Peake was inducted into the Manitoba Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Alana Miller won five Manitoba Open women’s singles titles. She is also a three-time Canadian women’s squash champion and a U16 national badminton champion. Miller reached a career high of No. 30 in the world in squash in 2009. In 2011 she completed her first year of medical school at the National University of Ireland.
- Kyla McNicol won five women’s singles titles, five women’s doubles championships and five mixed doubles titles at the Manitoba Open. A graduate of Vincent Massey Collegiate, McNicol played four years of tennis with the University of Central Florida Knights (her senior year was in 2007-08). McNicol was named to the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll in her final three years with the Knights. She played singles for the Manitoba tennis team at the 2001 Canada Games in London, Ontario, and was ranked in the top 15 for U18 players in Canada. McNicol was once the Tennis Development Manager for Tennis Manitoba.
- Evann Waschuk was twice named to the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Team with the Bellarmine University Knights in Louisville. Waschuk was an Academic All-GLVC selection in each of her four years with the Knights and completed her career with the team in 2015 with the third most wins in the school’s history, notching 99 victories. The Vincent Massey Collegiate grad represented Manitoba in singles at the 2009 Canada Games in Charlottetown, PEI. She captured the triple crown at the Manitoba Open (winning the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles trophies) in 2009 and 2010, in addition to winning the women’s doubles title at the tournament in 2012 and 2013.
- Kylie Waschuk is in her senior year with the Grand Canyon University Lopes in Phoenix. She leads her GCU women’s team with seven singles wins in conference play this year. In 2016-17, Waschuk went 5-0 in conference doubles play with teammate Alexandra Petrzalkov. A graduate of Vincent Massey Collegiate, Waschuk was a Western Canada Summer Games silver medalist in 2011. At the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec, she went 5-2 in women’s singles and 1-0 in mixed doubles for Team Manitoba. Waschuk was the 2013 women’s singles champion at the Manitoba Open, and won the women’s doubles trophy at the tournament in 2010 and 2013.
- Women’s tennis events were played at the 1967 Pan Am Games at Winnipeg Canoe Club and the 1999 Pan Am Games at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. The champions in 1967 were Elena Subirats (Mexico) in women’s singles, Jane Albert/Patsy Rippy (USA) in women’s doubles and Jane Albert/Arthur Ashe (USA) in mixed doubles. The winners in 1999 were Maria Vento-Kabchi (Venezuela) in women’s singles and Joana Santos/Vanessa Menga (Brazil) in women’s doubles.
- Two stars of the WTA squared off at Winnipeg Arena in 2002, with nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles taking on Anna Kournikova in a tennis exhibition. Kournikova beat Seles 6-4, 7-5. The exhibition featured four other matches, including a match-up between 16-year-old Kyla McNicol and 13-year-old Sean Lacap.
- Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club has hosted an ITF women’s Challenger tournament since 2013 (the CIBC Wood Gundy Women’s Challenger in 2013 and 2014 and the National Bank Challenger starting in 2015). The 2013 Challenger was won by Great Britain’s Johanna Konta, a semifinalist at the 2016 Australian Open and semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2017.