The 2nd annual Bruno Agostinelli Futures was hosted by The Club at White Oaks on September 18-24. A total of 48 players competed in the qualifying event, vying for one of eight spots in the main draw. The successful eight joined 24 other professional players to complete the 32-player main draw in singles and 16-team main draw in doubles.
While the majority of the players were from the USA and Canada, there were several other countries represented, including : Ireland, Taipei, Brazil, Chile, China, Great Britain, Jamaica and France. They combined to provide top-notch matches which entertained spectators each day throughout the week.
The Futures tournaments are organized by the International Tennis Federation in conjunction with national tennis associations, in our case Tennis Canada. They provide the first stage of professional competition, with players striving for prize money and for ranking points. The Agostinelli Futures offered $25,000 (U.S.) in prize money.
Sam Monette of Montreal emerged as the tournament’s big winner, taking the doubles on Friday evening with his partner Nicholas Hu, and then winning the singles title on Sunday over #1 seed Sam Barry of Ireland. Monette began 2017 with a singles ranking of 1769, but has now improved that to 679. [His opponent in the singles final, Sam Barry, is ranked 376.] Monette spoke at the trophy presentation of his pride in being able to do something he’d never done before – winning both doubles and singles – and doing it in his home country. The left-hander was seeded #8 in the tournament and had to play through tough matches all the way.
The tournament has special meaning for all the players because it’s dedicated to the memory of Bruno Agostinelli Junior. Bruno was born and raised in Niagara Falls, learning first to love tennis by playing with his family, then becoming a world-class player and winning a vital match for Canada in the Davis Cup, and then becoming a highly respected mentor as Canada’s national coach for under-14 players. His life ended in a tragic highway accident in March 2016 when Bruno was only 28 years of age. His brother Gianluca spoke of the depth of the loss for Bruno’s family and friends, but also of their pleasure at seeing young professional players competing for honors in Bruno’s name.
The tournament depends on corporate sponsorship in order to succeed and be continued in the future. Many thanks to Thorold Auto Parts & Recyclers; Henry of Pelham Family Estate winery; Performance Acura; Computan, Developers for Marketers; Revel Realty Inc.
From the left : Don Goodwin (master of ceremonies), Ryan Borczon (Tennis Canada), Giovanni Rodriguez (Tournament Director), Sam Monte (champion), Sam Barry (finalist), Gianluca Agostinelli.