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New Tennis Canada CEO vows to raise bar on winning and create safe, inclusive environment

Gavin Ziv's journey at Tennis Canada started when he was a ball kid in 1987. It set him on a path that has led him to the top job at the national sport organization.

Ziv, who currently serves as senior vice-president and chief tournaments officer, will become chief executive officer in late fall, Tennis Canada announced Tuesday.

He'll succeed the retiring Michael Downey in the position.

"As I sit here today, a dream has been realized," Ziv said on a video call. "Tennis, and specifically Canadian tennis, has been woven into the fabric of my life and this organization holds a special place in my heart."

Downey, who spent 15 years — over two terms — as CEO, is set to retire on Dec. 31 after announcing those plans last February.

Since Downey first took the job in 2004, Canadian tennis has enjoyed several strong years at the elite level. Some of the more notable achievements were Bianca Andreescu's U.S. Open women's singles title in 2019 and the Canadian men's team's first-ever Davis Cup crown last fall.

"We have become a world-leading tennis nation under Michael's excellent stewardship and I look forward to building upon his legacy by mapping out the best possible future for our sport in Canada," Ziv said.

"Together with the Tennis Canada board and our passionate staff we will continue to raise the bar on winning, elevate the fan experience by being digital-first, provide broader access to year-round facilities and create a safe and inclusive environment for all."

Ziv has spearheaded the annual ATP and WTA 1000 National Bank Open tournaments in Toronto and Montreal. He also led Canadian negotiations to secure equal prize money for WTA players at the tournament starting in 2027.

Ziv played an integral part in negotiating the