Monday, July 15, 2019

History of the Club



Prominent Victoria tennis players on the National scene over the next several decades include: Susan Bratt ranked in 1957 in the top 10; Sharon Whittaker appeared in the top 10 junior ranking; notable sisters Nina and Jennifer Bland; in a spectacular 1978 season Wendy Barlow qualified for the Wimbledon draw, reached the semifinals of the Senior Nationals. In 1987 Wendy was the captain of the Canadian Federation Cup team. 


“The end of a grand era was signaled by the Victoria Racquets Club, when in 1966 it moved to a new site in the university district. It was the beginning of an ultra-modern sports complex – but it contained no grass courts. Perhaps that is why in 1972 tennis hustler Bobby Riggs, with a style typical of the circus atmosphere, played an exhibition match against Alex MacDonald, Attorney General of the N.D.P. provincial government, on the hallowed lawns in front of the Empress Hotel. The umpire was former president of the Vancouver Tennis Club, former Attorney General and MacDonald's political opponent, Garde Gardom. It is believed that MacDonald blamed his defeat on “the biased umpiring of Gardom”.