Tennis tournament brings crowds of fans back to Montreal community

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Since 1892, the entire tennis world has traveled to Canada to see some of the best in the world compete. It has been the source of dramatic matches for the sport, but more importantly, a place where the community comes together and spends time with each other. “The first week of August is tennis in Montreal. Almost the whole city is here,” said Montreal resident Geneviève Harbec. The National Bank Open, formerly known as the Rogers Cup, brings the tennis on the Canadian courts of Toronto and Montreal each year, alternating between men’s and women’s tournaments. No matter who comes to town, it’s a massive event that attracts tennis experts and festival-goers alike. But before this year, the event didn’t feel the same. Gus Palkovi has been coming to the tournament with his brother for over 40 years, but COVID restrictions since 2020 have narrowed the scope of what the event can be. There was no atmosphere. Only one pitch was open,” Palkovi said. But everything changed this year, with the opening of the country by the Canadian government and even the investment of 10 million dollars to maintain the first event in Montreal for years to come. normal now. It’s fun, it’s a family event,” Palkovi said. “Even if you’re not going to watch a game, just to hang out and check everything out, it’s a lot of fun.” Now, competitive play is in full swing with the round of 64 underway on Monday. “It’s a beautiful tournament. really great to be here,” said Mario Pascua, from Peru. with the women’s tournament taking place simultaneously in Toronto. Keep following NBC 5 for match updates throughout the tournament.

Since 1892, the entire tennis world has traveled to Canada to see some of the best in the world compete. It has been the source of dramatic matches for the sport, but more importantly, a place where the community gathers and spends time with each other.

“First week of August is tennis in Montreal. Almost the whole city is here,” said Montrealer Geneviève Harbec.

The National Bank Open, formerly known as the Rogers Cup, brings tennis to Canadian courts in Toronto and Montreal each year, alternating between men’s and women’s tournaments.

No matter who comes to town, it’s a massive event that draws tennis experts and festival goers alike. But before this year, the event didn’t feel the same.

It really wasn’t worth coming

Gus Palkovi has been coming to the tournament with his brother for over 40 years, but COVID restrictions since 2020 have narrowed the scope of what the event can be.

“There was no atmosphere. Only one court was open,” Palkovi said.

But everything changed this year, with the opening of the country by the Canadian government and even the investment of 10 million dollars to maintain the flagship event in Montreal for years to come.

“It’s back to normal now. It’s fun, it’s a family event,” Palkovi said. “Even if you’re not going to watch a game, just to hang out and check everything out, it’s a lot of fun.”

The first days of the tournament featured the IGA Family Weekend, which included free entry and activities for children. Now, competitive play is in full swing with the Round of 16 underway on Monday.

“It’s a great tournament. [It’s] really great to be here,” said Mario Pascua from Peru.

The National Bank Open continues until August 14 in Montreal, while the women’s tournament takes place simultaneously in Toronto. Keep following NBC 5 for match updates throughout the tournament.


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