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Tennis Community Mourns the Death of BC Legend Lorne Main

Oct 17, 2019
written by: Tennis BC
written by: Tennis BC

Vancouver, BC – This week one of the greatest ambassadors of tennis and most decorated players, Lorne Main, passed away in Vancouver at the age of 89. Lorne was a member of Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club.

“Tennis has been my life.” – Lorne Main, 2015

Lorne first began playing tennis at the age of 9. As a junior player, he competed in 11 Grand Slam singles tournaments and would go on to play at the University of California at Berkeley on a tennis scholarship (1949-1951). As a professional tennis player, Lorne reached the Round of 32 at three Grand Slams: French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. In 1954, Lorne won his biggest title in his career: the Monte Carlo Open as an unseeded player. He was a member of the Canadian Davis Cup team from 1949 to 1955 and later became the captain (1958 to 1961).

Shortly after, Lorne was forced to leave the game because there was no prize money and he had a family to take care of. He found a job in advertising. Lorne returned to the game in the 80s at the age of 56. In 1986, he won his first world title. Having rediscovered his passion for the sport, he became the most decorated player in senior tennis history. The Vancouver-native won more than 40 Seniors titles in ever age category, from Men’s 55+ to 85+. In 2012, he was the recipient of the prestigious ITF Outstanding Achievement Award in Seniors Tennis, one of only four people to receive this award.

“Lorne’s achievements are unparalleled and will not be forgotten, while his legacy will inspire players for generations to come. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.” – ITF President, David Haggerty

In 1975, Lorne was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and in 1991, he was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame.

“Lorne is responsible for where I am today. His influence on my personal and professional life in the tennis world is unmatched. Lorne was much more than a tennis player. He was a great ambassador for our sport and represented Canada with tremendous pride throughout his years of playing tournaments around the globe. Lorne exemplified tennis as the sport of a lifetime. I will miss him dearly and would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.” – Jennifer Bishop, Chair of the Tennis Canada Board of Directors

Photo: Sportsnet

Since 2010, Lorne has been playing doubles on the Seniors ITF Tour with his wife, Adrienne Avis. Also a very successful Seniors ITF player from Australia. They met on the Seniors ITF tour in Austria. At one point, they were the No. 1 team in the world in mixed doubles.

Lorne Main is survived by his wife Adrienne Avis, four children, Kelly, Kevin, Kristine and Kasey and four grandchildren.

Lorne’s legacy will live on in hearts of our tennis community. On behalf of the tennis community across BC, our condolences go out to Lorne’s family.

More stories and information on Lorne Main:

Lorne Main – ITF Seniors Profile

Tennis Canada mourns the death of Lorne

Obituary: Lorne Main (by ITFTennis.com)

RIP Lorne Main, tennis legend

Video: Lorne the Main Man on Salt Spring

At 82, Main is most decorated senior player