Canada’s Rene Simpson Collins died on Thursday 17 October 2013 following a year-long battle with brain cancer. She was 47.
Simpson Collins was a former player, coach and Fed Cup captain. She recorded a career-high ranking of No. 70 in April 1989 shortly before she reached the third round at Roland Garros. She had more success on the doubles court, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 32, winning three titles and progressing to the quarterfinals at the 1996 US Open. Simpson Collins also represented Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Simpson Collins played Fed Cup for 11 years, accumulating a 20-16 win-loss record in 25 ties spanning from 1988-1998. She was Fed Cup captain from 2001-2009, a period during which she led the team into World Group II in 2007. She 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, tennis development, 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. We extend our deepest condolences to Rene’s family and friends including her husband Jason Collins, her parents Burt and Jane and her sisters Carol and Anne. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
Tennis Canada will honour Simpson Collins during the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first round tie between Canada and Serbia on 8-9 February 2014.