Photo : Tennis Canada
What’s 2023 shaping up to be like? Busy, as far as Tennis Canada is concerned. Busier than ever, actually, with a lot going on in Québec.
This week, the federation released its event calendar.
Most of the 2022 tournaments are back, and, as a bonus, the total number of ITF, WTA and ATP competitions was bumped up from 70 to over 90 this season.
Impressive considering we’re coming off a two-year pandemic pause.
Break it down and you get 23 events for the pros, 38 for the juniors and 20 for the seniors, in addition to 8 wheelchair tennis tournaments.
All the credit goes to Tennis Canada, which is investing in the development of local talents by ensuring they can compete at home instead of abroad.
It’s a proven method. Case in point: Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Eugenie Bouchard, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and, more recently, Leylah Fernandez and up-and-comer Gabriel Diallo.
So, hats off to Hatem McDadi, Senior Vice President of Tennis Development, and Richard Quirion, Director of Professional and International Tournaments in Québec!
Québec sets the tone
Québec remains Canada’s tennis stronghold in 2023 with 11 professional tournaments and 21 ITF junior events in addition to the Canadian championships.
The National Bank program is back with the Granby National Bank Championships (men and women), the Challenger showdowns in Saguenay (women) and Drummondville (men) and the Canadian Junior Open Championships in Repentigny.
The National Bank Open presented by Rogers will host the WTA at IGA Stadium in August. There’s also a new series of ITF Future tournaments ($25,000) in Montréal (men, in early March), in Saint-Augustin (one confirmed, another pending) and in Île-des-Sœurs (women).
Tennis Canada has pledged a considerable amount—$2M to $3M—to support its next generation.
“We must keep investing to develop more champions,” said Richard Quirion.
Here are the main tournaments between March and November:
- March 6 to 12: ITF Futures (men), Montréal
- March 13 to 19: ITF Futures (men), Montréal
- July 10 to 16: ITF Futures (men), Laval
- August 4 to 13: National Bank Open (women), Montréal
- August 20 to 26: Granby National Bank Championships (women and men), Granby
- August 21 to 26: ITF Futures (women), Saint-Augustin
- August 25 to September 2: National Bank Canadian Junior Open Championships (women and men), Repentigny
- October 9 to 15: ITF Futures (women), Île-des-Sœurs
- October 15 to 22: National Bank Challenger (women), Saguenay
- October 23 to 29: ITF Futures (women), Saint-Augustin
- November 12 to 19: National Bank Challenger (men), Drummondville
Shapo (and Félix?) in Delray
Notice to all snowbirds: Denis Shapovalov will be in action at the Delray Beach Open in Florida from February 13 to 19. He’s seeded second behind Taylor Fritz.
Félix hasn’t thrown his name in the hat yet, but Gabriel Diallo may be in the mix if he can enter the qualifying event.
On Melbourne time
The all-nighters are almost over.
The AO women’s singles final will be broadcast live at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday on TSN, and you can catch the men’s singles final at the same time on Sunday.
Next stop: Vancouver
In mid-April, Team Canada flies into Vancouver for Billie Jean King Cup.
Great decision, since Tennis Canada’s mission is to make sure tennis shines from coast, to coast, to coast.