||NCAA Men’s Tennis 08_09

April 1st is a date that has different meanings for different people, but at Tennis Canada, is it remembered as Bruno Agostinelli’s birthday. And today, Bruno would have been 32.

Bruno was a Canadian tennis player who reached a career-high singles ranking of no. 978 on the pro tour in 2010 and was an accomplished university player, a key member of the Davis Cup team and a coach at Tennis Canada. But to many, he was much more than that.

Known for his dedicated work ethic, he was humble about his accomplishments. After taking his retirement from professional tennis, he dedicated his life to coaching where he worked out of the Regional Training Centre in Ontario. He coached and helped support many Canadian juniors, including players like Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime. Bruno was a patient, understanding and caring individual who was incredibly passionate about his job.

Although his professional career was relatively short, Bruno had a stellar university career. He was an all-American at Kentucky and was named their male athlete of the year in 2009. He also reached the no. 2 singles ranking in the NCAA.

Photo credit: Kentucky University

A heartwarming moment occurred earlier this year when three Canadian junior players all signed with Kentucky. Choosing the same college at first seemed like a coincidence, but Gabriel Diallo, Liam Draxl and Alexandre Leblanc would later learn that perhaps their choice of school was in fact destiny. The three young Canadian athletes had been teammates on Canada’s U12 National team, a team that was coached by none other than Bruno. It was Diallo who discovered their team photo on his phone and made the connection. A true spine-tingling moment, these three will surely continue to champion Bruno’s legacy not only at Kentucky but for Canadian tennis.

2019 marks three years since Bruno’s passing. He lost his life in a tragic motorcycle incident in Toronto. In September of 2018, the City of Niagara named a court in his honour. There was also a Futures tournament named after him in Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as a Tennis Canada employee award for sportsmanship. Through these initiatives, we are striving to keep his spirit and memory alive.

Although he is no longer with us, we continue to think about Bruno and we aspire to be more like him each and every day.