James Blake signs a child's sleeve.

Photo : Tennis Canada

This week on Match Point Canada, hosts Ben Lewis and Mike McIntyre take time to acknowledge the importance of Black History Month.

Ben highlights the accomplishments of James Blake and the pair discuss in particular his epic US Open quarter-final match against Andre Agassi from 2005 as well as his appearance on the podcast from fall of 2019.  

Mike remembers the incredible consistency of Zina Garrison, where – among other accomplishments – she maintained a top 25 presence on the WTA from 1982 to 1995.

The impact of the legendary Arthur Ashe, Venus and Serena Williams is also discussed as the trio have inspired many youth in Black communities to pick-up a tennis racket with their incredible actions both on and off the court.

Felix Auger Aliassime is certainly following in their footsteps now and is a huge inspiration here in Canada. Aside from his four career titles, the 22 year old has done important work with youth in Togo helping raise money for schools and athletic programs there.

Ben and Mike also look back on the week that was on the ATP and WTA Tour’s including the terrific play of 2015 National Bank Open champion Belinda Bencic who just captured her second title of the young season in Abu Dhabi.

At the Dallas Open, Wu Yibing became the first Chinese men’s champion in ATP history with his 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-6(12) victory against John Isner. One of his vanquished opponents earlier in the week was none other than Canadian Denis Shapovalov who can perhaps take solace in the fact that he lost to the eventual champ.

Other topics of conversation this week include the challenges for tennis players when returning from injury, the ever-evolving depth on the WTA and the return this coming week to Rotterdam for Felix Auger Aliassime, the site of his first ever ATP title a year ago!

Have a listen to the newest episode of Match Point Canada, available on MegaphoneApple Podcasts, or Spotify below. Enjoy!