Tennis Canada ‘confident’ it can host 2021 National Bank Open in August

Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that it remains “confident” it can hold the National Bank Open, formerly known as the Rogers Cup, in Montreal and Toronto this August.

The Masters event, which was shelved last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to take place from Aug. 7-15 with the women and men playing in Montreal and Toronto, respectively.

“At this point, our priority is to host the 2021 National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto and Montreal in August, and we are hopeful the improving vaccination situation in Canada will bode well for our tournaments,” Tennis Canada said in a statement.

The organization said there are a number of ways for the event to be held in the two cities, including broadcast-only or limited-fan models. However, it is also exploring backup sites in the U.S., given that the tournament has historically accounted for 90 per cent of the organization’s revenue, which is invested in the development of the sport in Canada.

“We remain confident there are still multiple options for our tournaments to be held in Montreal and Toronto this August, such as in broadcast-only or limited-fan models, both of which have already been planned for in detail,” said Eugène Lapierre, tournament director of the Montreal National Bank Open.

“We continue to keep our key corporate partners, including National Bank and Rogers Communications, updated regarding the various scenarios and they remain supportive. Tennis Canada has also held preliminary conversations with the USTA to discuss what options might be available as an alternative in the United States. However, it is important to understand this would be considered only after we have exhausted our options in Canada.”

Tennis Canada said it has also had “productive dialogue” with all levels of government in Canada, as well as the ATP and WTA Tours, and will enforce strict health protocols at the tournament.