Tennis Canada was saddened by the news of the passing of one of its great founders, Ken Sinclair. The former Chairman of the Canadian Open and member of Tennis Canada’s Board of Directors passed away peacefully in his sleep Tuesday night at the age of 88.
Ken Sinclair was the Chairman of the Canadian Open in 1970, 1972, 1980 and 1981 and worked for the Canadian Tennis Association from 1975 to 1978 as a member of the Board of Directors. He occupied a number of positions during his tenure – Treasurer, Tournament Committee Chair, Vice-President and Director of Special Events.
“Ken didn’t just play tennis well, he lived tennis well. He will be remembered as one of the most important contributors to the development and success of the Rogers Cup and he is the main reason our tournament is held at York University,” stated Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada. “When it comes to Canadian tennis, he was a builder-extraordinaire. I will personally miss his dedication to continuously bringing Canadian tennis to new heights.”
Ken Sinclair was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996 as a founder. He was instrumental in negotiating the first major sponsor of the tournament, Imperial Tobacco Ltd. He also spearheaded the project of building the first tennis stadium on York University’s campus in 1976, which allowed the tournament to grow into the stature it is today. With the construction of a new stadium with a capacity of 8,000 seats, the event was able to continue to attract some of the top players in the world.
He had a passion for the sport both as a founder and as a player. He and Lorne Main were doubles partners and held the ITF record for most senior international men’s doubles titles.
His family will be holding a private funeral, but a celebration of his life is planned for later in the month.