Back to hall of fame
Back to hall of fame

Doug Philpott

Year Inducted1993 HometownToronto, Ontario

Major Accomplishments

Renowned Canadian Open tennis championships referee from the early 1950s to the late 1970s.
Honorary secretary of the CLTA and chairman of Canada’s Davis Cup team selection committee.
Contributed to the development tennis at the grassroots and junior level.


Doug Philpott was a tennis advocate. He was an umpire and referee and helped many tennis hopefuls get started with their careers. He played a major role at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club and was well liked by staff and members at the club. Philpott was an avid supporter of junior tennis and gave generous donations to the Canadian junior tennis program, which made it possible for many young players to continue playing and achieve their dreams.

Philpott was also a player and competed all across the country in Winnipeg, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. He did not have the best form, but he was tenacious on court and a strong competitor.

Philpott has a long list of accomplishments that go far beyond what he did for tennis in Canada. He was well-recognized on the international level as an umpire, who struggled with extreme characters such as Ilie Nastase and John McEnroe. His name was recognized in cities like Paris, Melbourne, London and New York, because if there was anyone in tennis that they knew from Canada, it was Philpott.

Philpott umpired and refereed thousands of matches, at all levels of tennis. He had originally been a track and field star, but he was an overall great athlete as his father was very involved in sports. Philpott’s brother, Newell, was the talented tennis player in the family and he played for the McGill University tennis team in the 1920s. Newell followed in the footsteps of Willard Crocker and Jack Wright, who had also played for McGill University.

Philpott was also involved with the Canadian Davis Cup team as he was nominated to be a member of the Davis Cup Selection Committee.

In the late 1950s Philpott tried to get the Canadian Lawn Tennis Association to sponsor the Canadian Open, however he was unable to get their approval. He was an active tennis promoter and decided that he would try looking elsewhere. He was finally able to sign a sponsorship with O’Keefe Breweries, but only for the invitational tournaments. The sponsorship with O’Keefe Breweries was very successful and it sparked some interest with the CLTA to also get involved which they did. The CLTA signed a deal to sponsor the Canadian Open, which then attracted a lot of big name players to the event.
Philpott’s biggest contribution to tennis was in the development of the junior programming from a grassroots level. The Doug Philpott Inner-City Children’s Tennis Fund was established in 1991 with the hopes to continue Philpott’s legacy by developing young tennis players. Philpott was dedicated to the sport in so many ways and his contributions made a huge impact on Canadian tennis.
Philpott’s dedication to the development of junior tennis programming led to the creation of the Doug Philpott Inner-City Children’s Tennis Fund.