The French Open at Bear Mountain was such a smashing success, organizers are already making a racket about next year’s tournament.
More than 100 players put their best tennis shoes forward at the event June 8-16, the first of a series of three tournaments making up the Vancouver Island Grand Slam. The series is a collaboration that includes Bear Mountain Tennis Centre, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, Oak Bay Recreation Centre, and the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club. The tournaments are played on clay, grass and hardcourt, duplicating the surfaces for the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open international events.
Russ Hartley, director of tennis at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort & Spa Victoria, said the weather co-operated beautifully throughout the nine-day love affair. “We’re already looking forward to next year and building the tournament into a provincial event,” he noted.
Chiho Mushika and Robert Bettauer defeated Kristina Matthews and Sean Hartley in the mixed doubles, while Mushika prevailed as well over Raj Mahal in the men’s open singles. Felina Yang was victorious against Matthews in the women’s 3.5 to 4.5 singles, and Cory Bilodeau beat Farress Barraquais won the men’s 3.5 to 4.5 singles final.
Wimbledon at the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club will get underway on the grass courts July 21 to 27. The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay.