Alberta and Western are Crowned 2017 Canadian University Tennis Champions

Canadian University tennis was on display at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank as four women’s teams and four men’s teams from across Canada battled it out for the Canadian University Tennis Championship title. The players delivered their best tennis and an exciting team atmosphere that had all of the fans at Rogers Cup stopping by to check out the action. 

Teams Compete Alongside Professional Events

The Championships were hosted during the final weekend of Rogers Cup with the women’s tournament taking place at Toronto’s Aviva Centre and the men’s championships hosted at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. 

The players relish the chance to compete alongside the professional tour events where their tennis idols, including Simona Halep and Roger Federer, competed for the Rogers Cup title.  It is a unique opportunity to play in a professional sport atmosphere, enjoy large crowds of adoring fans and showcase the best of university tennis.

Atlantic Region Makes Their Debut

The Atlantic Region competed in the Championships for the first time marking the first time that there has been cross-country representation, a significant milestone in the tournament’s short history.  The Atlantic region was represented by Dalhousie University who fielded both men’s and women’s teams.  

Women’s Championship Match Goes the Distance

The University of Montreal Carabins and University of Alberta Pandas fought for seven hours in 80 degree heat to earn the right to be called National Champion.  Every point was crucial in a see-saw match that saw momentum shift multiple times throughout the day. 

After trading the lead throughout the day, this marathon match would be decided by a final set at court 2 singles.  Alberta’s Runjia Gans settled her nerves after dropping the first set to Montreal’s Aziza Berriri and came back to force a third and deciding set.

While Gans found her stride, a long hot day took its toll on Berriri who struggled with cramps throughout the third set.  Berriri continued to push through the pain and force some incredible rallies. Ultimately though, the day belonged to Alberta and after seven hours of play, Gans’ 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory crowned the Alberta Pandas the 2017 Women’s Canadian University Tennis Champions.

Western Women Take Third Place Play-Off

Dalhousie and Western met each other in the third play play-off round. Dalhousie came up short against a seasoned Western team but picked up some valuable experience, in their maiden appearance at the Championships, that will no doubt pay dividends as they continue to compete nationally. Western bounced back from a narrow loss in the semi-finals and defeated Dalhousie 4-0.  They swept the doubles point and then followed up with three impressive singles performances to clinch the bronze medal.



Western and McGill headline the Men’s Championship

In men’s action, Western and McGill faced each other for the first time this season in the Championship match. Both teams were determined to seize the moment, setting the stage for the close contests that would decide the outcome.       

Western was first on the scoreboard.  They pulled out the doubles point with close wins on Courts 1 and 2 but McGill was unphased by the early deficit.  This team relishes a comeback and they quickly evened the score with a 6-2, 6-1 singles victory by Phillipe Rivard on Court 3. 

With singles play underway and the action heating up, fans were on the edge of their seats waiting to see which team would pull ahead.  It was a long wait but Western finally pulled out two crucial three set victories on courts 1 and 5 to come within one point of the Championship title.  

With Courts 2 and 6 also heading into third sets, it looked like the match would go the distance until Western’s Vahagn Tonakanian stepped up and clinched the winning point with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory against McGill’s Jean Christophe-Goulet on court 4.  The remaining matches played 10-point tie-breakers for the third set with McGill and Western splitting the matches.

So with an exciting 5-2 victory, Western University becomes the 2017 Men’s Canadian University Tennis Champions.


Dalhousie and Alberta Square Off for Third Place

The third place play-off round saw defending men’s champions University of Alberta take on Dalhousie University.  Alberta secured the third place finish by sweeping the doubles point and delivering strong performances throughout the singles line-up.

Overall, the weekend showcased everything that university tennis has to offer.  There was amazing team spirit, intense competition, impressive athleticism, talented tennis, good sportsmanship, gutsy performances and exciting atmosphere.  Canadian University tennis is on the rise and these athletes deserve all the credit for making university tennis so fun and exciting to watch. 

For more pictures and videos of the Canadian University Tennis Championships click here.

Congratulations to all of the participating teams and see you next year!


Final Tournament Standings below:


Women’s Championships

1st Place: University of Alberta

2nd Place: University of Montreal

3rd Place: Western University

4th Place: Dalhousie University                     

                 Men’s Championships

1st Place: Western University

2nd Place: McGill University

3rd Place: University of Alberta

4th Place: Dalhousie University