Interest in local tennis programs on the rise thanks to Bouchard and Raonic

With Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard making Canadian tennis history at Wimbledon, tennis Clubs in the Ottawa area say they're overwhelmed with registrations for youth tennis lessons and tennis camps.

"Yesterday I was informed by the camp co-ordinator that she was inundated with calls from people wanting to join tennis camp next week," says Tony Roth, director of tennis at the Ottawa Athletic Club.

He says there's no precedent for the amount of interest in tennis he's seeing this summer.

"It's hard to compare.  I don't think it's ever been quite like this," he said.

Geoff Pearce, president of the National Tennis School, says Bouchard and Raonic's successful runs at Wimbledon this month are inspiring kids and bringing them to the clubs.

"They see that success can be had with people from Montreal and Toronto," Pearce said. "To see that they can do it, there's no reason the children can't do so well also themselves."

Roth says not only are Canadians doing well on the international stage, but tennis is getting a higher profile in the country in general.  He says there are a number of factors for that including the calibre of teaching in the country, the accessibility of good facilities, and the involvement of the Ontario Tennis Association.

"It just builds up worldwide, nationally, and then in certain provinces like Ontario where a lot of people have been working really hard to grow the competitive structure, the teaching structure, and everything put together."

Pearce adds that tennis is a sport kids often want to stay in once the hit the field for the first time because of the independent, competitive nature of the game, and because of the non-stop action involved in the sport.

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