Last Updated on August 6, 2023
Canada, known for its free health care, and ice hockey, and stars like Celine Dion and Justin Bieber, also hosts the Canadian Open tennis tournament every August. This event happens in Toronto and Montreal.
People sometimes call the Canadian Open the “Canadian Masters.” It’s a tournament with a rich history and has welcomed many of tennis’s top players.
This event is important. For men, it’s a Masters 1000 tournament, and for women, it’s a WTA 1000 event.
Since 1979, players compete on hard courts at the Canadian Open. Before that, matches were on clay and grass courts.
The men’s and women’s tournaments don’t happen in the same city simultaneously. Each year, the men’s and women’s events switch between Toronto and Montreal.
National Bank Open History
The tournament has been in existence since the year 1881. It debuted in the same year as the US Open, was played before the US Open, and is, therefore, the second oldest tennis tournament in existence. This first edition of the tournament was played in July 1881 at the Toronto Lawn tennis courts as a men-only event.
At the start of its history, the Canadian Open was referred to as the Canadian National championships. The Canadian National championships was tagged as the go-to premier tennis event in the Dominion of Canada. It has maintained its status as a highly rated tennis event to this day.
Eleven years after the start of the Canadian masters, an official women’s event was added to the tournament roster in the year 1892. The Canadian Open was seen and regarded by many as more than just an event, it was also a very efficient and useful tool for strengthening the country of Canada.
During its amateur days, the Canadian championships, at different times were held in ten different Canadian cities. These cities are in no order of precedence: Toronto, Niagara-on-the-lake (yes that is the town’s official name), Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Quebec City, Windsor, Winnipeg, Victoria, and Ottawa.
The events were used to showcase the uniqueness of Canada, its people, and the vast potential opportunities the land held.
Interruptions to the events during its early history were brought about by the First World War and the Second World War. No editions of the Canadian National Championships was held between the year 1915 -1918 and another brief hiatus occurred between the years 1941 – 1945.
After World War II, the Canadian championships returned to the “Great White North” and was once more a highly sought out, widely attended sporting and social event of North America.
The first post-World War II men’s singles champion was American P. Morley Lewis who defeated Canadian hopeful Donald McDiarmid in a thrilling four-set final. A slew of Americans and Canadians would go on to dominate the men’s singles event winning sixteen of the twenty-two editions played between the end of the war and the start of the open era.
The first post-World War II women’s singles champion was American Baba Lewis. She defeated fellow American Noreen Haney in a straight sets final. A slew of Americans and Canadians also dominated the women’s singles event winning eighteen of the twenty–two editions of the women’s singles played between the end of the war and the start of the Open era of tennis.
The Open era of tennis began in 1968, professionals were allowed to compete in the Grand Slams and many other prestigious events that had previously denied them entry.
The Canadian National Championships became known as the Canadian Open, its playing surface became Clay, its host city was fixed as Toronto, and prize money was introduced.
Sponsors for the newly rebranded Canadian Open were necessary for the event to be enticing to the very best of Professional players. In this regard, the Canadian Open enjoyed considerable success with tobacco companies just before the start of the twenty-first century.
British tobacco giant Rothmans was the main sponsor of the Canadian Open in the 1970s. The tournament enjoyed a period of stability during this period and attracted top players from around the globe.
In 1981, the men’s event was played in Montreal. The following year,1982, the men’s event was played in Toronto and the women’s event was held in Montreal and thus began the current alternating cities format.
Following in the footsteps of Rothman, Players Limited, another notable British tobacco company was the main sponsor of the Canadian Open from 1980 – 1997. During this period the Men’s event was styled “The Player’s International”.
Du Maurier, another tobacco brand took over the sponsorship of the Canadian Open in 1997 and the Canadian Open was branded the Du Maurier Open. Their association came to an end in 2000.
The Canadian Open’s successful romance with its tobacco partners was brought to an end as a result of legislation passed into law in Canada prohibiting the advertisement of tobacco. The events had to pivot away from Tobacco Sponsorships.
Rogers AT&T Canada from the Telecommunications industry took over Sponsorship of the Canadian Open women events. International Sports and Leisure (ISL) through an agreement with ATP for the sponsorship of all its master series events was responsible for the Canadian Open men’s event.
The bankruptcy of ISL left the men’s event without a sponsor and in 2005, Rogers took over sponsorship of the men’s event. Rogers was now the sponsor of both the men’s and women’s events, the Canadian Open became known as the Rogers cup.
While Rogers was the title sponsor of the Canadian Open, National Bank has been its presenting sponsor in Toronto since 2005, and in Montreal since 2010.
In the year 2021, a reversal of roles occurred. Rogers became the Canadian Open presenting sponsor and National Bank became the title sponsor. The Canadian Open is presently branded as “The National Bank Open presented by Rogers”.
National Bank Open Stadiums
Toronto Courts – Sobeys Stadium
Sobeys Stadium plays host to the Canadian Open in Toronto. It is located on York university’s Keele campus in North York, Toronto.
The stadium was opened in 2004 and was known as Rexall centre. The name was later changed to the Aviva Centre before the present name change in 2022 to Sobey stadium.
Sobey Stadium has a main stadium with a circular seating design with the court at the center. This court is referred to as the Centre court as a result of the design.
The most prominent of the rest of its courts is the “Grandstand”; a 2000-capacity court adjacent to the centre court and so named because of the grandstand design of its seating arrangement.
The rest of the courts at Sobey used for the Canadian Open are referred to by numbers: Court 1, Court 3, and so on. All of the courts at Sobey have DecoTurf cushioned acrylic hardcourt surfaces.
Montreal Courts – STAD IGA
In Montreal, the Canadian Open is hosted at the IGA stadium. The IGA Stadium is so named due to a naming rights deal with a major supermarket in Quebec. It used to be called Stade du Maurier ( former sponsors of the Canadian Open), later Stade Uniprix( a major Quebec pharmaceutical chain). The stadium has been referred to as Stade IGA since 2018.
Most courts of the state IGA are laid with the DecoTurf cushioned acrylic hardcourt surfaces. IGA also has four clay courts but its clay surfaces are not used during the Canadian Open.
The largest court of the IGA is the central court – it was named as a result of the positioning of the court.
The second largest court is the Rogers Court named after its current presenting sponsors, and the rest of its secondary courts are labeled with numbers ( Court 2, Court 3, and so on..)
Where is the Rogers Cup played in Toronto?
The Canadian Open is played in Toronto at the Sobeys Stadium. Sobeys Stadium is located on York university’s Keele campus in North York, Toronto.
Where is the Rogers Cup played in Montreal?
The Montreal Canadian Open is played at the IGA Stadium formerly known as Stad Uniprix. It is a national training and competition center geared toward tennis excellence in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada as a whole.
Who owns Canadian Open?
The Canadian Open isn’t owned by anyone.
It is owned, organized, and managed by TENNIS CANADA; a non-profit national organization charged with the growth of tennis in Canada.
The Canadian Open is presently being sponsored by National Bank as the title sponsor and Rogers as its presenting sponsor
Is the Rogers Cup a Grand Slam?
No, despite being one of the oldest tennis tournaments around, the Canadian Open is not a Grand Slam.
The Grand Slams are The Australian Open, The French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
Why is it called the Rogers Cup?
The Canadian Open used to be called the Rogers cup because Rogers was its title sponsor. It is now called the “National Bank Open presented by Rogers” because the National Bank is now its title sponsor.
How do I get Rogers Cup tickets?
Tickets are available on-site in box office at the Canadian Open.
You can also browse tickets at https://nationalbankopen.com/national-bank-open-tickets-montreal for Montreal tickets and https://nationalbankopen.com/national-bank-open-tickets-toronto for Toronto tickets
You can send an email to [email protected] for specialised requests and offers.
Where can I watch the Rogers Cup?
The official broadcasters of the National Bank Open are Sportsnet and TVA sports. TVA Sports is a better option for French-speaking viewers while Sportsnet caters to English speakers. So check Sportnets & TVA channels.
How long is the Rogers Cup?
The Canadian Open has a time duration of a week. The men and women’s events used to be played in different weeks but they are now played in the same week.