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Greg Halder: An Unconventional Tennis Great

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***Born in 1955, Greg Halder grew up and began playing tennis in Toronto. He attended St Michael’s College School and started playing tennis at the age of nine at the Badminton and Racquet Club (B&R). Following in his athletic parent’s footsteps; his father an Olympic Gold Medalist RCAF for Flyers Hockey Team in 1948, and his mother, a women’s tennis club Champion at St. Clements Tennis Club in North Toronto, Halder turned professional at the age of 19.  He decided not to attend University which was quite unusual and unconventional for a young Canadian at that time.

Halder’s first coach was Derek Bocquet at the B&R but it was Harry Fauquier and Keith Carpenter who had the greatest impact on the progression of his game.***

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ONcourt: What were some of the highlights during your professional career?

Greg Halder: Well my best ATP rank for singles was around 100, and for Doubles it was 35. Being three time Davis Cup team member and winning both the singles and doubles Canadian Championships in 1980 are definitely great highlights. My best singles win was over Raul Ramirez of Mexico. At Volvo Championships in North Conway NH. Ramirez was ranked number three in the World at the time. My best doubles win was with Dale Power at The French Open Championships over Sherwood Stewart and Fred McNair who were ranked number one in the World at that time and were attempting to defend their French Open Doubles Crown from the previous year.

ONcourt: Is it true that you prepared for the finals of the Canadian championships by practicing on hard courts when the finals were played on clay?

GH: Yes I did warm up on hard courts for my Finals Match in The Canadian Championships, that is true. In the finals I was playing against Martin Wostenholme, a clay court specialist. By warming up on the hard court, I thought maybe Martin would come out and start the match there. He was too smart for that, so I just beat him on the clay court anyways. I am just kidding about the latter part, but I basically just played a hard court style of play on a clay court all my career, lots of serve and volley, chip and charge, so I don’t think it really mattered where I warmed up. It was certainly unconventional at the time to do that, but I was never mistaken for normal in any case. It kind of fit my maverick attitude I guess.

ONcourt: What are you doing now in tennis?

GH: Currently I am The Director of Tennis at The Pink Sands and Coral Sands Resorts on Harbour Island in The Bahamas.

ONcourt: In your opinion, who do you think was better: Jim Boyce or Dale Power?

GH: Who do I think was better Dale Power or Jim Boyce? Dale for sure, even though JB was a great player also. Dale’s results on the most important yardstick, The ATP Tour, were far superior to Jimmy’s. It certainly appears that I am correct on this one, for Dale is in The Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame, and JB is not. I feel certain with time, that Jim will get in there though!

Article and interview by Emma Fauquier

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