Peter Burwash goes all over the world talking tennis. Name a town, he’s been there. Beijing, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Singapore-they’re all the same to him. In August he spent a week in Montreal, then a week in Toronto, as a television commentator for the women’s, then the men’s du Maurier-sponsored national open tennis championships. One thing about it, he didn’t grow hoarse describing the feats of Canadians.
Why can’t Canadians lick their lips on an international tennis court? There are tiny flurries: Patricia Hy-Boulais survived a couple of rounds last summer at Wimbledon, Grant Connell is a world-class doubles player, and one evening last month a string-bean left-hander, Daniel Nestor, actually beat the world’s No. 2 player, the spectacular Thomas Muster. But these are mere teasers, hiccups really. There are no Bobby Orrs or Wayne Gretzkys on the tennis courts.
However, there is Peter Burwash, who may be the world’s most successful noncompeting tennis player. An energetic, fast-talking native of Brockville, Ont., where his father, Stanley, was the branch manager of the local Bank of Nova Scotia, 50-year-old Peter is a founder and the president of Peter Burwash International, a Houston-based corporation that operates tennis properties for resorts and hotels in 32 countries.
Apart from this and his television commentary, Burwash manages to keep busy delivering 80 to 90 speeches …