Mark  Justine Trophy 5a

Mark Raynes Roberts – Rogers Cup Designer

__________

***Mark Raynes Roberts is a world-renowned, multi-award-winning goldsmith, crystal artist and designer. Born in 1961, in Sutton Coldfield, England, he has resided in Toronto, Canada since 1982. Over the past quarter-century, Raynes has achieved world-wide acclaim for his crystal masterpieces and iconic award designs. Recipients of his work include international leaders in business, the arts, sports and sciences. In 2001, and again in 2002, Raynes Roberts was commissioned by Tennis Canada to create the WTA and ATP Rogers Cup tennis trophies for both Canadian Tennis Championships. The trophy has become a recognizable icon on the tennis circuit. For more information, visit http://www.markraynesroberts.com.***

__________

Kim Clisters

ONcourt: How did you become involved with the creation of the WTA and ATP Rogers Cups?

Mark Raynes Roberts: In 2001 I approached Stacey Allaster (now CEO of the WTA) who was then VP of Marketing at Tennis Canada as they were seeking a new sponsor for the tournament since DuMaurier had ended their sponsorship of the event. As a keen tennis player myself who grew up in England and had been to Wimbledon, creating the Canadian Tennis Championship trophies was a dream project. The idea behind the “Excalbur” crystal racquet came from the myth of King Arthur, where he pulls the sword from the stone, whereas the Champion pulls the racquet from the crystal and granite base. The mens trophy “Global Spin” was commissioned  a year later in 2002 and has been won by all the current top four seeds in the world.

Rafael Nadal

ONcourt: How did the concept of the cup arrive to you?

MRR: It was evident from the brief I was given by Tennis Canada that they did not wish to create a traditional country club type trophy, preferring to have me design a contemporary sculpture more in keeping with Rogers communications.

I developed several sculpture designs but the one which I felt worked most successfully was “Excalibur” even though it may not have been quite as out there! The importance of the “Excalibur” I felt lay in the theatre of its presentation which could be further highlighted through TV and media outlets.The creation of a successful trophy I beleive lies heavily on it becoming “iconic” overnight and as synonymous as the brand sponsoring the event. I feel the Rogers Cup trophy has achieved this status for Rogers Communications, as it has become a familiar icon on the professional tennis circuit.

Serena Williams

ONcourt: What did you want to purvey through your design?

MRR: The key elements in both the mens and womens trophies has been to develop original designs with a contemporary global feel, which would appeal to the international tennis audience.

ONcourt: How many trophy presentations at the Rogers have you been at?

MRR: I have met many of the top mens and womens tennis players since 2001 at the Rogers Cup, and have been photographed with many of the Champions who have won the trophy. Meeting Roger Federer, Justin Henin and Kim Clisjters were highlights, plus some of the tennis legends such as Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles who I have also presented with special crystal commissions from Tennis Canada for their service to the game.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.