NOTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE – Milos Raonic has scored a historic win at the semi-finals of Wimbledon, becoming the first Canadian man to get that deep into the tournament, but what he might not know is his win is causing a ripple effect, inspiring young players across the nation.
While Raonic was busy defeating Federer, kids at the Monkland Tennis Club were training at their tennis camp.
“Then we went on to the court and I didn’t know what was happening, I was checking with my coach, asking him what’s the score,” said 10-year-old Max Mital.
It wasn’t too easy for coaches to keep them focused and on track.
“It was quite tough because they were very distracted by the match,” said coach Jonathan Gallespie.
When hearing the final score favoured Raonic a couple of hours later, kids traded in their nerves for excitement.
“It makes me feel great to be a Canadian and for him to be a Canadian too and that he’s so good at tennis, it makes me feel motivated to do more,” said Mital.
“He’s definitely an inspiration.”
“I was really happy,” said Louis Di Criscio.
“All the other really good players are from other countries, and now we finally got one really good one that’s Canadian.”
At 12-years-old, Raphael Villeneuve has been playing tennis for eight years and even though he is a Federer fan, he thinks it’s “cool a Canadian won.”
“I’m like, I could become a pro if I put my effort into it, even if I’m Canadian.”
“I didn’t think that he would win,” said Henri Daicos.
“I know I’ll never reach that level,” said Daicos, but he is thinking of those who aspire to be like Raonic.
“I think that they’ll feel more confident now, they feel like they can make it. It’s like a new hope for them.”
Coach Gillespie can already see the “Raonic effect” in his trainees.
“Kids were very motivated to play well, they wanted to get some points, play competitive.”
Raonic faces Andy Murray in the finals on Sunday, July 08 at 9 a.m.
Tennis Canada has organized a viewing at La Cage – Brasserie sportive at Place Versailles, doors open at 8:30 a.m.