ABOUT THE TOURNAMENTS
The partnership between Tennis Canada and National Bank extends far beyond the Rogers Cup. Since 2005, National Bank has been the title sponsor of the National Bank Challenger events organized by Tennis Canada. Formerly known as the National Bank Circuit, the Challenger events foster elite development and serve as a first experience on the professional tour for Canadian players, who can earn ATP/WTA and ITF points towards their world ranking. National Bank aims to support local players as they embark on the pro circuit by sponsoring four Challenger events in Québec and providing bursaries of up to $50 000. Through the years, the National Bank Challenger events have made a name for themselves and hosted players from around the world. In fact, many of the top names in tennis have played in National Bank Challenger events, including homegrown talents Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard and Vasek Pospisil, John Isner of the US, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
“The National Bank Challenger events are the first level of competition on the professional tour. Players can gain valuable points and climb in the rankings to enter major tournaments. Until National Bank pledged its support, there were too few of these events held in Canada. Our players had no choice but to travel abroad for weeks on end to earn points,” explained Eugène Lapierre, vice-president of professional tennis in Québec and director of the Rogers Cup.
“Tennis, National Bank's primary sponsorship, is an activity that brings people together on many levels. And the National Bank Challenger tournaments do just that. For players from Canada and abroad, these events are an opportunity to get exposure to the International Tennis Federation circuit,” stated Yann Jodoin, Senior Vice-President – Marketing. “For tennis fans in the cities hosting the tournaments, they are an opportunity to see riveting matches and also contribute to the On the Ball program. Since 2006, more than 1.5 million used tennis balls have been collected through the program and have been used as chair slippers to reduce classroom noise and create an environment conducive to learning.”