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Players

Don Fontana

  • Year inducted: 2000
  • Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Players

Don Fontana

Major Accomplishments:

Top 10 player in Canada between 1961-1970.
Singles finalist at the Canadian Open (Rogers Cup) in 1956.
Davis Cup team member eight times from 1955-1963.
Davis Cup playing captain in 1963 and non-playing captain five times from 1963-1976.
Captured three doubles title at the Canadian Open in 1955, 1957 and 1959 with partner Robert Bedard.
Competed at both the French Open and Wimbledon twice and the US Nationals (US Open) more than eight times.
Reached round of 16 at US Nationals (US Open).
Ranked as high as No. 4 in doubles by USTA in 1954 with John Lesch.

Biography:

Don Fontana was one of the great players in Canadian tennis during the late 1950s and early 60s. He was ranked among the Top 10 singles players in Canadian tennis 11 times, including holding the No. 2 spot six times from 1957-1960 and 1962-1963. Fontana won the Ontario singles tennis championship twice in 1956 and 1957.

He competed on the Pan American Games team in 1959 against Chicago and 1963 against Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was a semifinalist at the Canadian Open in Montreal in 1955 and made it to the second round of the singles main draw in 1969 before falling to Australian John Newcombe in three sets. He also competed in doubles play at the Canadian Open that year with American Lester Sack, but the duo fell to Canadians Mike Belkin and Vic Rollins in the second round.

Fontana played several international events including three of the four Grand Slams. He appeared twice at Wimbledon and the French Open in 1955 and 1966. He competed in the US Open more than eight times. Fontana captured three Canadian Open Doubles Championships with partner Robert Bedard in 1955, 1957 and 1959. He was a finalist at the Canadian Open (Rogers Cup) in 1956 as he fell to American Noel Brown in four sets.

After his playing years, Fontana kept very much involved in the sport of tennis. He became the tournament director of the Canadian Open in Toronto in 1959 and again from 1971-1978. He was a TV analyst for the Rothmans Canadian Open in Toronto for CBC from 1974-1978. He then became a TV analyst for CTV at the Player’s International/Du Maurier Open from 1981-1996 in both Toronto and Montreal, as well as at the Molson Light Challenge in the 1980s at the Maple Leaf Gardens.