Looking back on a popular Bayview tennis shop, just in time for Rogers Cup
Leaside business serves up 25 years
Merchant of Tennis owners Pam and Rob Horwood in the shop in 1992
Husband and wife duo Rob and Pam Horwood first opened the Merchant of Tennis in 1992. This year, the two local tennis enthusiasts are celebrating 25 years of business. Pam Horwood gave Post City the scoop on all things tennis just in time for Rogers Cup in Toronto.
What prompted you to open a shop for tennis gear?
We both play tennis. Rob played professionally for a while. He was a top player in Canada. He went to the University of Arizona on a full scholarship, and then he went and played the men’s satellite and knew he wasn’t going to be Roger Federer, so he came home. I played as well. I think I got to maybe 22 in Canada. That was before I opened the store though.
Why did you decide to set up shop in Leaside?
We really liked Leaside because it’s central to a lot of community tennis. There are so many clubs in the neighbourhood: Davisville, Leaside, Moore Park, Wanless and the big clubs obviously the Granite Club and Toronto Lawn.
Have you met any big-time tennis players over the years?
We were the official retailer of Rogers Cup for seven years, so we’ve met everybody. Eugenie Bouchard has done signings. Milos Raonic has done signings in that venue. The only big player that’s actually been in the store was Martina Hingis, and that was two years ago. She was the number one in the world for a long time. She came by because she has her own clothing line.
Who are your favourite players on the court?
For me it’s Steffi Graf. I think it’s just her athleticism at the sport and she has great composure on the court. And Roger Federer, it goes without saying, he’s just an incredible player (1621 Bayview Ave., 416-932-2396).