Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche: “Sweden vs. Canada, 20 years ago – Part IV”

Written by: Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche


***Pierre Lamarche has been an outspoken proponent of Canadian tennis and how the sport should have a major place in the Canadian sport landscape. He believes this lofty ambition can only be achieved through the combination of success on the international professional competitive scene, with the required domestic infrastructure and a true partnership between Tennis Canada and the tennis private sector.

His comments are often taken as critical by those who feel targeted by his questions. His background as a player, coach, and leader [see background] in the sport and coaching industry warrants that his views, which are shared by many others, be given due process by anyone [or organization] who really wants to help Canadian Tennis achieve the proper national status it deserves in the sport community.

His ONcourt series of editorials specifically provides thoughts for reflection on how to make Canada a tennis superpower.***


The Bear’s own story on one of the most memorable moment in Canadian tennis

Note from The Bear: Unfortunately, due to time demands it was not possible for me to research and compile a list of everyone that participated in this momentous event. A lot of people contributed to make this the most memorable weekend of Canadian tennis. I apologize for these omissions and hope that everyone will overlook my memory lapses. But this is how I remember it…

The Aftermath

The kid had become a national hero. He proceeded on a long journey filled with 20 years of professional success. Many more valiant efforts representing his country in Davis Cup, numerous grand slam championships in doubles [all of them] and mixed doubles championships. Finally, an Olympic Gold in Sydney with Sebastien Lareau in 2000 .

Grant Connell kept on being the consummate leader, winning Grand Slams in doubles, representing Canada when called upon, becoming captain of the team which made it to the World Cup and the Tournament Director for the Canadian Open. He now conquers the business real estate world in Vancouver the same way he played: straight up.

Glenn Michibata, the beautiful perfectionist won Grand Slam glory as Connell’s partner and now is the men’s coach at the prestigious Princeton University.

Chris Pridham takes on the same professional approach in being the president of Sinclair-Cockburn Financial Services in Toronto.

Louis Cayer is now a major coach for the Lawn Tennis Association fulfilling different responsibilities.

Robert Bettauer is back helping Tennis Canada in the west as well as doing a great job commentating at the Rogers.

Dave Cox, the Simon Fraser prof, is still helping out people everywhere and I am sure keeps a close eye on his buddy Grant.

Harry Fauquier is still doctoring courts and trying to find a solution to my new obsession: red clay courts.

Doug Burke left his position as the Jamaican Tennis Director last September to become my partner and the vice-president of ACE Tennis.

For me, I have become The Bear. The aftermath of that memorable tie was a difficult one on many levels. My relationship with the team was never the same. My belief in Daniel had created a backlash with the other players which I understood. But in Pierre’s world, we always made decisions for what was best for the team. In this case, I believed Daniel was our only answer.

But this weekend, 20 years after our memorable, honourable defeat only one thing matters:

Go Canada, we know you will make us proud. The outcome is not as important as courage shown in battle.

Marty, Bonne chance capitaine.

You deserve the win, you are a class act.

Daniel, you are the best, although a pain, kidding.

By the way who said: “How do you feel about your win knowing Edberg did not play well?”

Frank, great to have you there. More Serbs the better, great Canadian tennis family

Vasek, you have already been a hero. We know you will be there, your province, your house.

Milos, no one can handle that serve. You will love the crowd and will enjoy your journey. It will last a lifetime.

Good luck to all of you Team Canada, Tennis Canada and Canadian fans.

Where is the beer and wings?

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