The recent growth of tennis in Canada can clearly be attributed to three central figures: Milos Raonic (@milosraonic), Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard), and Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil). Each of these three rising stars experienced breakout seasons in the last few years and have all found themselves ranked in the ATP/WTA top 30 at one point or another. Their names are intertwined because of the sport that they love, the country that they call home, and their ages, but what also connects these three stars are the hashtags that have followed them from stop to stop on the ATP/WTA Tour.

Current Canadian tennis fans are certainly aware of these three young stars, but those that are also social media savvy definitely know what #BelieveInTheSleeve, #GenieArmy, and #AnythingIsPospisil all mean. These three hashtags are included in tweets written by fans, members of the media, and Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada). So how do hashtags like these begin?

After an incredible breakout season in 2013, Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil not only inspired young Canadians to pick up their tennis racquets and head to the local tennis club, but also inspired his own hashtag – #AnythingIsPospisil. The hashtag, which was born during the 2013 Rogers Cup (@rogerscup), and flourished during his semi-final match against fellow Canadian Raonic, has continued to follow him from across the ATP Tour, most recently during his recent run at Wimbledon (@Wimbledon). Before each match, when he’s up a break, or when he’s down 2-0, fans always believe that #AnythingIsPospisil.

In 2014, Eugenie Bouchard rose to the top 5 in the women’s rankings after a spectacular run at Wimbledon. While here, she dazzled fans on the court with her strong style of play, and enchanted them off the court with her charismatic interviews. A dedicated fan base quickly rose, naming themselves the #GenieArmy, and has grown to include tennis fans from around the world, including Hollywood star Jim Parsons (@therealjimparsons). With every post and ATP Tour stop, the #GenieArmy follows!

Raonic started wearing his now famous sleeve as a necessity in Miami after getting a rash that needed to stay out of the sunlight. The sleeve has since become an essential part of his game. Fans have flocked to social media every time Raonic hits one of his impressive serves to post about him and to show that they #BelieveInTheSleeve. The hashtag itself is based on a tweet Raonic sent replying to female tennis star Victoria Azarenka (@vika7) who wanted to know if getting a sleeve would help her serve like him. Raonic replied, “Only if you ‘believe in the sleeve’.” So now, all Canadian tennis fans are able to show their support, no matter where Raonic is playing – they simply #BelieveInTheSleeve.

The popularity of Canadian tennis has exploded in the past three years, thanks, in large part, to Raonic, Bouchard, and Pospisil. Tennis fans can now demonstrate their support for the team by uniting under the hashtags highlighted above, constantly putting their support behind these young Canadian athletes. These tennis stars will go through ups and downs, but as fans, we will always #BelieveInTheSleeve, will always be members of the #GenieArmy, and that will forever believe that #AnythingIsPospisil!

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