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.***
The Bear: Montreal update …Troicki is suspended, Tipsarevic upset in the first round, Pospisil, Raonic, Levine, Dancevic, Peliwo shine with victories. I had the opportunity to see the Canadian contingent in Montreal and they look good. The team is unified, everyone in red shirts including Milos in his first match. You can see momentum building….I can’t wait for Belgrade.
I caught up in Montreal with Tennis Canada’s Alain Beaupre who is the Davis Cup Team Manager and Director, Uniprix Stadium and Quebec Professional Tennis.
TB: Alain you just came back from Belgrade, what was your impression?
AB: This is one of the biggest events in the country. The Serbs are rabid about their national teams and none is more important than their Davis Cup Team. When they beat France in 2010 to win the Davis Cup, it resulted in unbelievable celebrations. We will be playing in the 15,000 Belgrade Arena, it will be wild.
The Serbian Federation and organizing committee is very professional and you can see that they have addressed all aspects to make this a world class professional event. The security aspect of the tie is a very important component and everything is being done to insure the well being of the Canadian team and their fans.
TB: What do you mean by security?
AB: You have been involved in South American ties so you know how the fans can be. They have designated a special area behind the Canadian Team bench for Canadian fans to the right of the referee. They are keeping the fans in different sections to insure that the enthusiasm does not create any situations. As well they are creating a soccer like cage for the players bench.
As well, we have been assured by the officials that all aspects will be covered. It is also interesting that I had the feeling that Serbians really like Canadians. We know that Milos’ father has already arranged for 120 Milos fans to come from Montenegro. Also, there is a Tennis Canada employee contingent of approximately 50 employees and the special “Vasek” squad of 20 which are a very boisterous support group. This with a strong contingent of Canadian fans will give Team Canada some needed support.
TB: Are all arrangements in place?
AB: I just helped put together the last few touches for the teams preparations. The Canadian team will be staying in a hotel where Djokovic owns a restaurant. We have found a great indoor private practice facility through a connection of Frank Dancevic. It is a great place for the team to get ready.
The Canadian embassy is supporting the whole event by hosting a get together on Friday morning for all Canadian fans.
It will be a special moment for all of us.
TB: Thank you Alain, see you in Belgrade…Go Canada