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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024

Dual challenge for the 2024 NBO

Hosting a Masters 1000 is a tall order, but the organizing committees in Montréal and Toronto ace it every year. And they have the attendance records to prove it.

They manage to meet players’ needs and expectations and entertain tens of thousands of fans.

The 2024 NBO is the last edition of the tournament in its current format before its bumped up to twelve days. In addition to the usual challenges, there are two brand new ones this summer.

Olympic tennis

Every four years, the Olympic tennis tournament gets squeezed into the already packed calendars. And for the Paris Games, there was no better venue than Roland-Garros.

Photomontage : FFT (Fédération Française de Tennis)

Slated for July 27 to August 4, the event will force many players to adapt to different courts in quick succession. After the grass season, they’ll head back to the dirt and then spend the summer and fall on the hard courts.

Read also: Canadian Girls Qualify for Junior Billie Jean King Cup Finals

For most players, the season usually goes hard–clay–grass–hard. This year, the Olympic variable will whisk a few of them back to the clay courts before they embark on the North American swing.

In August, the top players will have to deal with a virtually instant transition from clay to hard.

Time management 

And that’s not all. 

The men’s singles gold medal match will be decided on Sunday, August 4. The main draw of the NBO would normally get rolling the next day, August 5, but NBO tournament director Valérie Tétreault planned ahead. “As soon as they released the Olympic programme, we did everything in our power to lessen the impacts of the jet lag and travel time,” she explained.

Photo : Pascal Ratthé/Tennis Canada

“We approached the WTA and ATP more than a year ago for an exemption so we could get the main draw started a day later, on Tuesday instead of Monday. The main goal was to make life easier for the players who arrive late and give them enough training time on our courts.”

It’s true that the Olympic final will only involve two players. And with the semis on August 2, the eliminated quarterfinalists will likely have enough time to overcome the jet lag and prep for the Canadian Masters.

Read also: The Clay Swing Rolls on in Madrid

Guillaume Marx, vice-president of high performance at Tennis Canada, shed some light on the dual challenges, which he experienced first-hand during his six years on team Auger-Aliassime when Félix was just starting out in the ATP.

“In professional tennis, the margins are pretty small, so every aspect is important. If your body hasn’t recovered from the jet lag, it’ll be a struggle. Your performance will suffer, and you increase your risk of fatigue-related injuries. It really requires a lot of management.”

Photo : Paul Rivard

Switching to a new surface isn’t easy either, and Marx adds a caveat: “It’s more challenging to go from clay to hard than the other way around. So it could get complicated for the players who go far and those who make it to the final four.”

Read also: Danielle Collins Catches Fire

Still, that doesn’t apply to everyone. “It depends on the individual,” Marx explained. “Some players are better at adapting to different courts than others. Some get comfortable in no time, especially if they’re competing on their favourite surface.”

Between now and August 6, expect the players to be lugging around a lot of clothing and a lot of shoes with different outsoles.

And a trusty alarm clock.

The ATP's best return to Montreal this summer for the National Bank Open August 3 to 12, 2024 at IGA Stadium. 2024 Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!

Feature Photo : Paul Rivard