August 14, 2022 Patrice Lapointe/Tennis Canada Ambiance
It was a triumphant return for the ATP Tour to IGA Stadium this summer for the National Bank Open presented by Rogers. Record crowds and world-class tennis are always the perfect mix, especially as part of Montreal’s always vibrant summer. Whether you’re looking to catch up on what you may have missed or want to reminisce about what you felt and experienced while on-site with us, here’s a recap of the best moments from this year’s tournament, both on and off the court.
Thank You 237,158 Times!
Quebec fans are famous throughout the tennis world for their incredible support of their beloved event throughout the years. After the COVID-19 pandemic kept them home for the most part in 2021 thanks to some tight restrictions, they came back in full force and in full voice for the 2022 edition. So much so that the National Bank Open set yet another attendance record for a one-week tournament with 237, 158 fans coming through the gates.
Among them were many familiar faces who had to get in on the action. From Quebec Premier François Legault, who attended the final with his wife Isabelle, to the famous athletes across multiple sports who not only enjoyed the matches but also participated in off-court activities, bringing them closer to the fans. Those on-site may have crossed paths over the ten days with the likes of Marc-André Fleury, Jennifer Abel, Alexandre Bilodeau, Jonathan L’Heureux, Jonathan Huberdeau, Mélodie Daoust, and many more.
Félix’s Birthday Surprise
It was an extra special week for Félix Auger-Aliassime who returned home to Montreal to play the event he grew up watching as a kid for the first time since 2019. He was not only a top 8 seed and reached the quarter-finals on the strength of two electrifying victories in front of a packed house, but he also received quite a birthday surprise.
Prior to taking the court, the 22-year-old showcased his musical talents alongside renowned Quebec pianist Alexandra Stréliski. To make the moment even more memorable, he was greeted by his family, a reunion which brought him to tears. That’s what feeling tennis is about.
A Week of Career-Firsts
Pablo Carreno Busta capturing his first Masters 1000 title on championship Sunday capped a week full of upsets at IGA Stadium. The steady Spaniard defeated the likes of Matteo Berrettini, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, and Hubert Hurkacz in the final to lift the most prestigious trophy of his career.
Tommy Paul as well as Brits Daniel Evans and Jack Draper also achieved their best results at this level while becoming fan favourites in the process. Meanwhile, Laval, Quebec’s own Alexis Galarneau made his Masters 1000 main draw debut and acquitted himself well against Grigor Dimitrov on Centre Court.
Top Feel-Good Moments
Speaking of favourites, fans at the OBN this year were captivated by the charm and impressive skills of many players who took the time to show off their personalities. He may have eliminated Auger-Aliassime, the hometown hero, but noted good guy Casper Ruud made a strong first impression during his maiden Montreal appearance and embraced the love he received. It’s no wonder he won the ATP’s sportsmanship award in 2022. Plus, Diego Schwartzman was a hit during his match on the intimate Court Rogers, Jannik Sinner interacting with the kids during a mini tennis clinic on opening weekend was just so adorable, and the always gracious Marin Cilic made a fan’s day with a special delivery during a sponsorship stunt.
A Fitting Reception
Andy Murray was the lone member of the ATP’s ‘ Big Four’ who made the trip to Montreal and the former two-time champion of the event was greeted with the admiration he deserves. A group of Welsh fans even journeyed to town to watch him play.
Although he didn’t put forth his greatest performance in a first-round loss to Taylor Fritz, the legendary Brit was ushered off the court by a touching standing ovation. It was as if the fans were thanking him for all the memories through the years while also acknowledging that this may be the last time they see him. Let’s hope not.
Alcaraz Introduces Himself
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz may have lost a heartbreaker in his maiden match on Centre Court at IGA Stadium after holding a lead in the final set against Paul, but that doesn’t mean his first trip to Montreal wasn’t eventful.
He kicked off the week in style at the draw ceremony and even played a round of golf at a nearby course. Not to mention that he went on to win his first Grand Slam title a few weeks later at the U.S. Open and tough losses are a big part of reaching the pinnacle of any sport.
The Kyrgios Show
Fresh off an appearance in the Wimbledon final, Nick Kyrgios arrived in Montreal full of confidence and playing at the top of his game. His performance on the court did not disappoint.
He knocked out top seed Daniil Medvedev en route to the quarter-finals where he fell in three sets and also had the chance to meet NBA star and Montreal’s own Luguentz Dort on a night when his two passions collided.
A Well-Deserved Honour
It was nice to see Aleksandra Wozniak back on Centre Court for her induction into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame. The Blainville, Quebec native, who reached a career-high WTA ranking of no. 21, gave so much to her sport during her career and helped pave the way for today’s generation of Canadian stars. She had many shining moments at the National Bank Open too and will always hold a special place in the hearts of Montreal’s tennis faithful.
Looking back on this year’s tournament has us counting down the days until the WTA Tour returns to Montreal in August for the 2023 edition of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers. Get your tickets now and join us to make new memories alongside Leylah, Bianca, Rebecca, Gabriela, Iga, and the best players in the world.