While the best players on the ATP Tour will be back in Montreal for the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, Jean-René Dufort also announced his return for 2019. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the comedian’s involvement with the tournament, having been bestowed the honour of spokesperson back in 2010. He also makes history, becoming the first individual to return for a second tournament as the spokesperson.
A television and radio show host by day, Jean-René has become well-known in the tennis community for his comedic timing and his unique interview style. Over the past 9 years, he has formed relationships with some of the world’s top tennis players in filming his entertaining videos. From holding a staring content with Andy Murray and speaking with a “Saguenay” accent with Angelique Kerber to being a sitting target for Milos Raonic’s monster serve, Jean-René has done it all, sometimes to the detriment of his personal safety. It takes a distinct personality to commit to the bit, a role that not everyone is cut out for.
Over the years, he has charmed his way into the hearts of thousands, and perhaps none more so than World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Theirs is a love affair for the ages. In what began as an innocent first interview quickly turned into something else entirely. Not many people can say that they have been on the receiving end of a love tap or have had a glass of water poured over their head by one of the best players in the game.
“What is there left to say about Jean-René? He has been with us for so long that he has become an integral part of our tournament. In fact, he probably has a better attendance record than I do,” stated Eugène Lapierre, Rogers Cup Tournament Director. “I remember watching him film his very first videos at our event and I thought to myself, “I’m not sure the players are going to like this style of interview.” It turns out, they loved it. His personality and his creativity have given him a tremendous [read surprising] reputation with the athletes and the tournament staff.”
Re-live some of Jean-René’s best moments of the past 10 years, including some never-before seen bloopers.