Photo: Carlos Richer

Tennis Canada was saddened to learn the news of the passing of long-time official Claude Joly, who passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, unrelated to the pandemic.

Claude was involved in tennis for around 20 years, as an official, a tournament supervisor and everything else in between. He was passionate about the sport, putting in countless hours at tournaments throughout the year. No task was too small for Claude, from running to bring towels on court during a match to making sure everyone’s needs were met, he did it all with a smile. Because for him, it was a true privilege to be involved in tennis at all levels.

“We have lost not only a great official, but also an important friend and teammate. When you think about tennis in Quebec and in Canada, you think about Claude Joly. He was a kind-hearted man who was known by almost everyone in the tennis community, from players and coaches to officials and tournament organizers. His contributions to the sport he loved so much will not be forgotten and he will be greatly missed,” stated Richard Quirion, Director of tournaments at Tennis Canada.

This summer, during the pause in the tennis season, Claude also played a key role in the Challenge of the North, a circuit of tournaments created to allow local players to continue to play competitive matches. Claude knew that it was important for our players and officials to be able to stay connected to tennis.

“Claude was the heart of our officiating program in Quebec. His tireless dedication to tennis in Canada was appreciated by all who met him. He was a good friend and this is a great loss. We will miss him terribly,” stated Anne Bees, Manager of Officiating at Tennis Canada.

“Claude was an incredible resource for Tennis Canada and Tennis Quebec. He was available at all times of the day to answer questions about officiating, regulations, tournaments and so much more. He was generous not only with his time, but also in giving back to the community. A valued member of our Tennis Quebec family, we will miss him greatly” stated Jean-François Manibal, General Manager at Tennis Quebec.

Claude’s contributions to the community included the Noa-Joly-Messier distinction, named after his late son. Since 2008, this award is presented each year to a junior athlete who has stood out not only with their progress and tennis results, but also with their academic performance, hard work in practice, perseverance, determination as well as their attitude on and off the court.

Our thoughts are with Claude’s family and friends during this difficult time.