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With racquet, he travels

Anklovitch translates love for tennis into tenure as pro in Singapore

He lives in five-star resorts, travels to exotic countries and draws a lucrative salary.

To prepare him for that lifestyle blending with the rich and famous, Les Anklovitch did not go to law school, nor did he tap into Alberta's booming oil industry.

What he did was learn how to swing a racquet at the Prince George Tennis Club, a life-changing experience that sent Anklovitch on a career path as a tennis pro.

"It's very fun, what I do I really enjoy," said Anklovitch, 35, in Prince George last week to visit his family. "I get to travel around the world and be a tennis pro at some exclusive clubs and resorts -- pretty much the primo places around the world. The Prince George Tennis Club (PGTC) gave me start on a career that's turned out pretty good and I thank them for that."

Anklovitch works for Peter Burwash International, a tennis management company based in Texas. Burwash, a native of Toronto, is a former Davis Cup player for Canada who started the company in 1975. Anklovitch heard about PBI through a friend in Victoria, and after flying to Houston, Texas for an interview at his own expense was hired in 2003. He's one of about 100 tennis pros PBI employs.

Anklovitch has lived in Palm Springs, Tokyo, and Thailand, and now makes his home in Singapore. He gets paid a basic salary and collects commissions on his tennis lessons. He also has the good fortune of living in Singapore. Personal income tax rates there are among the lowest in the world.

"It's not really work, it's just good," he said. "At some of these places you get to eat at five-star restaurants and they don't charge you for it. You can get spa treatments and just sign for it. It's crazy."

For more, see Friday's Citizen