After taking home his very first trophy earned with a wooden racquet on the courts at Saint-Sacrement Parish in Trois-Rivières, Tom Tebbutt—ace blogger for tenniscanada.com and our very dear friend—will soon be receiving the highest national honours once again.
On Friday at the Fairmont Royal York, Sports Media Canada will honour Tom for his contribution to tennis.
“Don’t go making a big deal about it,” said Tom, who has always kept ties here despite his years spent in Toronto.
Are you kidding?!
There’s no way we’d sidestep this! Especially since tennis is stealing headlines from hockey and the Blue Jays—which only adds to Tom’s merit.
In his own way but with just as much skill and authority, Tom is Canada’s Bud Collins thanks to the depth of his knowledge of the game (and its gossip). But he’s never had to dress as loudly as the legendary American sportscaster!
Following Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard, Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor is Tom’s bread and butter but our living tennis encyclopedia is just as comfortable discussing old-timers Robert Bédard, Don Fontana, Lorne Main and Ken Sinclair.
When it comes to international tennis, no one can match the number of stamps on Tom’s passport.
And as far as the Grand Slams, he’s covered Melbourne 21 times, Wimbledon 29 times and Paris 39 times.
“I’ve kept my accreditation badges throughout the years,” affirmed the friendly globetrotter.
And what about the US Open at Flushing Meadows?
“I’m not sure if it’s 32, 33 or 34. The trip and the preparations are quicker so you count faster,” he said.
Before joining Tennis Canada, Tom Tebbutt contributed to two tennis magazines and spent 21 years at The Globe and Mail.
He was also a valuable collaborator of Yvan Ponton and Hélène Pelletier at RDS.
In fact, he’s reserved a very special thank-you for the sports channel.
“I’ve always been a freelancer, which means I had to cover all of my expenses at tournaments—not a negligible amount considering how expensive it is to travel. The trust that RDS had in me very often helped me make ends meet,” affirmed Tom.
One of Tom Tebbutt’s qualities is certainly his loyalty.
He’s rubbed shoulders with everyone from Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors to Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic but has never lost sight of Canadian tennis or forgotten our homegrown talent.
In fact, last week, Tom was in Toronto at the Tevlin Challenger ($50 000 in prize money).
“I never, ever thought that I would receive this award. I’m not [well-known sports journalist] Stephen Brunt. And tennis isn’t hockey…In fact, I’ve decided to accept the award on behalf of my sport,” said Tom Tebbutt.
Quite frankly, tennis could not have found a better ambassador than the former mixed doubles champion of Saint-Sacrement Parish!