By Mike McIntyre
What better way to spend a sunny afternoon along the waterfront in Toronto than watching Canada's two tennis stars Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard conducting a clinic for kids on a makeshift barge sitting on Lake Ontario?
Both coming off disappointing results at Wimbledon where injuries limited their effectiveness, the twenty-something King and Queen of Canadian tennis were all smiles while they encouraged the next generation of tennis stars in their home country. Hitting with the kids was something both players seemed to genuinely enjoy and it sure makes one appreciate how fortunate we are in Canada to have these two players engaged in inspiring our youth. Up until just a few years ago there really were no big names for kids in Canada to look up to on the tennis court. With the relatively newfound success of Raonic and Bouchard you can pretty much guarantee that more kids are going to be picking up a racquet and trying their hand at tennis.
Here are some pictures we took today that truly capture the motto for the day - #getcloser
Perfect conditions for tennis on a barge!
The crowd gathers by Lake Ontario in anticipation of Milos and Genie's arrival around noon.
Shortly thereafter the two tennis stars arrived with a typically Canadian sized entourage around them.
Just in case you forgot what country Raonic represented. The players were mic'd up and looked like they were ready to run an aerobics class rather than a tennis clinic.
Hosts for the day were Evanka Osmak and Ken Reid from SportsNet.
Working on her overhead while some happy youngsters look on.
The next Genie?
After hitting with the kids Genie and Milos rallied a little for the crowd.
There were a few rare smiles from Milos today, a player more known for his reserved demeanor on court.
Talk about canoeing in the right place at the right time!
Genie's toss was right where it needed to be today.
And that's a wrap!
Canadian tennis fans will get the chance to see both players when they return to home soil for the Rogers Cup running August 7-16 in Montreal for the men and August 8-16 in Toronto for the women.