Photo: Camera Work USA

Beddington’s distinguished tennis career includes spending 17 years as Tournament Director, Chairman of Canadian Open Championships in Montreal and Toronto

John Beddington has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and International Tennis Federation’s illustrious Golden Achievement Award. This prestigious honour is handed out annually, to just one individual who has made important contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, education, or philanthropy and has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.

Beddington’s tennis career spans over half a century in a variety of different roles and capacities, but he’s specifically played an integral part in growing the sport in Canada. Most notably, Beddington played a pivotal role in nurturing and developing the two Canadian Open Championships on the ATP and WTA Tour, otherwise known today as the National Bank Open presented by Rogers. Having joined Tennis Canada in 1979, Beddington was the tournament director and then tournament chairman of the Canadian Open Tennis Championships in Montreal and Toronto until 1995. During those 17 years, he was able to exponentially grow the tournaments’ budgets and turn them into prestigious, world-renowned tennis events.

“One of my proudest achievements was starting off the Montreal tournament,” Beddington told Tennis Canada. “Going up to Montreal and meeting people from the city and deciding where the tournament was going to be held; they took me to Parc Jarry and I paced out where I thought they could put centre court and that’s exactly where it still is. The first year, July of 1980, we had 8,000 people attend the tournament for the entire week and it’s evidently come a long way since then.”

Since retiring from working in tennis full-time in 2015, Beddington has still stayed extremely active in the world of tennis, spearheading several philanthropic and charitable efforts, and staying involved with Tennis Canada. He’s been an advisor to Tennis Canada since 1998, working closely with President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Downey since he began his first term in 2004. Beddington’s consultancy work with Tennis Canada has been on a completely volunteer basis, which is a clear demonstration of his unwavering support to the sport and organization.

“Over nearly two decades, John led the building of the National Bank Opens through brilliant revenue generation and top player relationships,” Downey said. “He also helped establish the highly successful Canadian staging model that uniquely rotates top-level WTA and ATP tournaments between two of the country’s largest cities, Toronto and Montreal. John truly earned his rightful place in the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. Thank you, John, for your brilliant contribution to Canadian tennis and to Tennis Canada.”

Beddington was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006, an achievement that he singled out as one of the most distinguished honours of his career. He’s particularly enjoyed seeing the sport grow throughout the country over the last several years, from a grassroots level all the way up to the professionals.

“It’s been wonderful to see how Canada has done,” Beddington said. “The tournaments have both grown and grown, the number of players in the country have grown significantly, and certainly the number of players in the rankings has grown enormously. It’s wonderful.”

Beddington was officially presented with the Golden Achievement Award at Wimbledon in London on July 15.