For Dennis and Elizabeth Huss—long-time members of the Rogers Cup officiating team—love and tennis go hand in hand.
Married in 1962, the pair began playing tennis shortly after tying the knot. They became involved with the Canadian Tennis Association in 1984 and have been involved with the Cup ever since.
“When we got married, we moved into an apartment building in Mississauga [Ont.] and there were tennis courts, but we had never played before,” recalled Elizabeth. “We met a couple who lived in the apartment who taught us how to play, so we got married to each other and married to tennis at around the same time.”
Over their 35-year history with the tournament, Dennis, a former chair official and linesman and Elizabeth, working Centre Court, have developed a special connection to the Rogers Cup that keeps them coming back.
“It’s been the combination of loving and enjoying the sport and the social benefit that intrigued us,” says Dennis. “We kind of fell in love with the ambiance of the Rogers Cup and the original Canadian open tournament here. We’ve had the opportunity through that involvement to come to know all of the people at Tennis Canada and many of the players.”
Over the past three decades they have seen the tournament evolve in many ways and say they have no shortage of fond memories.
“We had one occasion back in 2005 when we had heavy rains and about a foot of water on Centre Court,” remembers Dennis a now retired Vice President of a life insurance company. “Kim Clijsters came out, took her socks and shoes off and ran around the court water splashing and so on. It was such a fun moment and really spoke to me about the spirit of the players and the tournament that no matter what kinds of things happen, you can overcome.”
Walking the grounds of the Sobeys Stadium with the husband and wife, it would seem the couple knows just about everyone. They can’t go but a few paces before being stopped by a familiar face for smiles, handshakes or an embrace.
“That’s what happens when you only see people once a year,” the pair joked. “We’ve been around a while.”
A retired marriage counsellor, Elizabeth is in fact an expert on human connection and wrote a book on marriage in 2002. Now with 57 years of marriage and of tennis under their belt, the pair might have enough experiences to fill volumes.
Dennis and Elizabeth, now age 81 and 78 respectively, say they are still connected to the couple that introduced them to the sport so many years back and continue to play at least four-times a week.
“We love it a whole lot and we still do,” says Dennis. “It’s just been that kind of pleasure for us.”