South Surrey’s Genna Warren (left) poses for a photo with Wayne Gretzky and his daughter, Emma, whom Warren faced off against in a Spokane tennis tournament earlier this month. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey tennis player has brush with Greatness

14-year-old Genna Warren defeats Emma Gretzky, daughter of Wayne, in Spokane tournament

No matter where her tennis career takes her, South Surrey’s Genna Warren will have a story to tell about the time she beat The Great One.

Well, The Great One’s daughter, at least.

Earlier this month, in the championship match of the Spokane Club Summer Classic tennis tournament, the 14-year-old Warren found herself lined up across the net from Emma Gretzky, the youngest daughter of National Hockey League legend, Wayne.

Warren advance to the tournament final with three straight victories in the Advanced Singles U14 bracket – first over Calgary’s Kaitlyn Challis, followed by a win over Spokane’s Sophie Koehler and, in semifinals, another Calgary competitor, Janie Cheverie.

In the championship game, Warren – who plays locally out of both the Hazelmere Tennis Club and the Surrey Tennis Centre – defeated Gretzky in two close sets, 7-6 and 7-5.

After the match, Warren got the chance to meet the elder Gretzky, and pose for a quick photo. The Gretzky family “were extremely classy, friendly and a down to earth bunch,” according to Warren’s father, Doug.

“It was a tremendous honour for Genna to meet The Great One, and play against his daughter, Emma.”

Emma Gretzky is the youngest of Wayne and Janet’s five children, many of whom, Emma included, followed in their famous father’s sporting footsteps. Trevor Gretzky, 24, is a minor-league baseball player; 16-year-old Tristan Gretzky is an aspiring golfer; Ty Gretzky, 27, played hockey and now runs Gretzky Hockey School. Eldest daughter, Paulina, is also married to PGA golfer Dustin Johnson.