• By: Katie Hartai

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Carling Bassett-Seguso

2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.

Carlin Basset-SegusoCarling Bassett-Seguso, Athlete, Tennis

Carling Bassett-Seguso became Queen of the Court as a young woman. Her victorious career is a story of inspiration for teenage athletes to overcome any limitations.

Born in Toronto in 1967, Bassett-Seguso began playing tennis at the age of 11. After she showed clear promise as a member of the 1959 Canadian Davis Cup team, Bassett-Seguso’s father did whatever he could to help his daughter follow her passion. He enrolled her into the famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where she quickly developed the skills that made her a tough competitor in tournaments across North America.

At the age of 13, Bassett-Seguso won the Canadian indoor title as well as the Canadian Junior Championship. She turned professional two years later, becoming the youngest participant at Wimbledon. In 1982, at age 16, she earned the spot as Canada’s top tennis player and held the position until 1986. As a 17-year-old Bassett-Seguso became the first Canadian to have broken into the Top 10 in singles on the professional tour, reaching No. 8 in 1985. Adding to these early-life achievements, she also managed a successful second career as a fashion model for the Ford Modeling Agency.

Bassett-Seguso was named the Women’s Tennis Association’s Most Impressive Newcomer in 1983 and Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1983 and 1985. During her career, she won a total of two top-level singles titles and two doubles titles. In 1998 she was inducted to the Tennis Hall of Fame and in 2001 she was the first female tennis player to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The spirited athlete retired in 1991, a few years after beginning a family with the American tennis player Robert Seguso. She continues to stay active in the world of tennis as a commentator and coach encouraging young players to persevere.

To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit sportshall.ca.