Canadian tennis star loses battle with brain cancer

Rene Simpson spent the late 1980s and early '90s as one of Canada's premier female tennis players....

Rene Simpson spent the late 1980s and early '90s as one of Canada's premier female tennis players. (SUBMITTED/ TENNIS CANADA)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:19 AM ET

Canadian tennis is mourning the death of Rene Simpson, who passed away Thursday in Chicago after a year-long battle with brain cancer. She was 47.

Simpson captained Canada's Fed Cup team from 2001-11 after posting a 20-16 playing record in the team competition, where she was a regular participant throughout the 1990s.

Simpson reached a career-high No. 70 in the world ranking in April 1989, the year she advanced to the third round of the French Open.

In doubles, she was ranked as high as No. 32 in the world and was a U.S. Open quarterfinalist in 1996. Simpson was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.

"We are extremely saddened and carry a heavy heart by the news of Rene's passing," said Hatem McDadi, vice president of development for Tennis Canada. "We have lost a very dear friend and member of our tennis family. Rene will be remembered for her courage, patriotic spirit, warmth and loyalty to friends and family. She has been an inspiration and a role model to friends, family and our current generation of female tennis players. Rene is dearly loved and will be missed."

Memorial services for Simpson will be held in both Chicago and Toronto.

POSPISIL OUT IN VIENNA

Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil was eliminated from the Erste Bank Open in Vienna Thursday, dropping a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-2 second-round match to Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

After two tight sets, Haase, the world No. 12, was able to break the match open.

Making just 54% of his first serves in the final set, Pospisil, 23, faced two break points, and Haase was able to convert them both to win in two hours and 19 minutes.

In doubles action, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and his Austrian partner, Julian Knowle, moved into the semifinals in Vienna courtesy a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Dutchmen Haase and Jesse Huta Galung. Nestor and Knowle won 77% of first-serve points, saving the only two break points they faced.

The No. 3 seeds needed just 53 minutes to progress to the last four.

Nestor is attempting to reach his third final of the season.

RAONIC MOVES ON

Canada's Milos Raonic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open Thursday, topping Swedish qualifier Joachim Johansson 6-2, 7-6 (3).

The 22-year-old Canadian ended Johansson's brief comeback after the Swede returned to the court for the first time in two years.

Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., used 16 aces and never faced a break point on the way to topping the former world No. 9.

Raonic, who took a wild card into Stockholm as he chases a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals, next faces sixth-seeded Benoit Paire of France in what will be their first meeting.



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