Otherwise known as the Canada Masters, the Rogers Cup, and (most recently) the National Bank Open, this year’s upcoming ATP Tour stop in Toronto is set to be one of the most exciting faceoffs of 2021. After last year’s event was canceled along with most others on the ATP and WTA tours, this year’s tournament already has pundits and fans talking.
The tournament’s dates are set for August 6 – 15. The ATP event, classified as a Masters 1000, will be held in Toronto at the Aviva Centre, while the WTA event, classified as a Premier 5 tournament, will be held in Montreal as the IGA Stadium.
At the moment, there’s been no official announcement regarding ticket sales, which means spectatorship is still unclear regarding both the women’s and men’s tournaments. Until then, tennis fans intent on catching the games live will have to settle for planning a Toronto or Montreal trip with the hopes of adding their National Bank Open tickets to their itineraries following an official announcement.
Travel Tips for Toronto and Montreal
Even if the WTA and ATP announce that there won’t be spectators at this year’s Canada Open, tennis lovers can still enjoy the grounds where the competition takes place. For example, Toronto’s Aviva Centre is (usually) open for tours—and concerts as well. Artists from Lionel Richie to Big Sean have performed at the center in the past. In Montreal, IGA Stadium has less versatility.
But given the heat in August throughout Canada at the time of the Open, there’s a limited amount of sightseeing to be done outside. Thankfully, aside from the exciting outdoor destinations in Toronto and Montreal, there’s also plenty to keep busy with indoors. As well as aquariums, art galleries, and museums, Canada’s developed market of online game providers and in-person opportunities also provide unique options for tourists.
Those who prefer to keep things tennis-centric can also check out other tennis clubs. Toronto is home to both the Toronto Tennis City group and the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, both of which will require a call ahead. In Montreal, the unique group Tennis Montréal helps bring golf to sports enthusiasts of all ages and provides special opportunities to connect with other tennis players at all skill levels.
Building Off Last Tournament’s Excitement
Though Canada plays host to only two major tournaments each year, the Canada Open never lacks in excitement. Historically, the ATP Tour’s stopover in Canada has seen the greats battle on the hard courts, with notable wins from Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as well as victories from Alexander Zverev (2017 champion) and Andy Murray (2016 champion).
In particular, Nadal’s 2019 victory over Daniil Medvedev was an exciting win for the Spanish athlete. However, most eyes were on Medvedev, as the budding star battled past Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals. Coming into the tournament, the Russian player was seeded eighth behind big names like Nadal, Thiem, Zverev, and Kei Nishikori. Heading into this year’s tournament, all eyes will be on Nadal once again—assuming he enters. So far, there’s been no official seeding of the lineup based on world rankings.
In the WTA, similar battles have helped keep interest in the tournament high. In 2019, spectators were treated to a hard-fought battle between Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams at Toronto’s Aviva Centre, which saw the Canadian win on her home turf after Williams suffered back spasms.
The tournament was particularly exciting as Williams entered as the eighth seed behind giants like Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, and Kiki Bertens, seeded first, second, and fourth respectively. Champion Andreescu wasn’t seeded at all, which didn’t stop her from becoming the first Canadian champion to nab the title since 1969. Like ATP participants, the WTA lineup has yet to be seeded.