In 2021, the world’s leading tennis tournaments are making their comeback.
Also in 2021, Eugène Lapierre is celebrating 20 years at the helm of the National Bank Open.
Let’s compare. Since 2001, the Montréal Canadiens have had 10 coaches. Canada and Québec have voted eight prime ministers and premiers. And the National Bank Open? One director, Eugène Lapierre—Canada’s tennis tournament expert.
So, if you happen to run in to him this weekend at IGA Stadium, congratulate him on his momentous two decades and his team on getting the event back on track.
In 20 years, there have been countless improvements to the stadium, the addition of the National Tennis Centre, new attendance records and new tournaments in Repentigny, Granby, Saguenay and Drummondville.
At the very top of Eugène’s to-do list is a stadium roof to maintain Montréal’s status among the world’s tennis capitals.
WTA CEO Steve Simon, former tournament directors John Beddington and Richard Legendre, Réjean Genois and Jean-François Manibal of Tennis Québec each paid tribute to Eugène Lapierre.
”His vision and leadership made the tournament one of the most prestigious and most popular events on the WTA Tour. With a passion for developing the sport since his arrival at Tennis Canada in the early 1990s, he has made contributions that have been felt across all levels of the sport. The WTA offers its sincere thanks and appreciation as we celebrate Eugène’s 20-year anniversary as the director of this very special event.”
– Steve Simon, CEO of the WTA Tour
”Tennis was was first presented at Parc Jarry 41 years ago. Since those modest beginnings, there have only been three tournament directors. I was fortunate to be the first and oversaw the first 15 years. The very talented Richard Legendre was my successor, and then the remarkable Eugène Lapierre guided what has become the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.”
”Calm and discreet, he has ensured the tournament’s growth and led all Tennis Canada’s activities in Québec. He always thinks of ways to improve the tournament and the installations. Now, his greatest challenge is to build a retractable roof on Centre Court, and he probably won’t stop until he does.”
”Canadian tennis is lucky to have a man of such quality in such an important position.”
–John Beddington, first tournament director
”Overseeing a major event like the National Bank Open for 20 years is noteworthy in itself, but making it a local and international success year after year is truly exceptional!”
”Succeeding requires the endurance of a marathon runner. It takes a lot of passion, creativity and intelligence to keep the tournament in Montréal moving forward as he has so consistently. He made sure the tournament grew roots in our broad tennis family in Québec. He made the tournament his own and, especially, ours.
Thank you and congratulations!”
–Richard Legendre, former tournament director
”For 20 years, despite the numerous challenges and multiple upheavals of the two professional tours, Eugène has demonstrated leadership and vision to constantly improve the National Bank Open and make it a world-class event for tennis fans, the WTA and the ATP.
Congratulations on 20 years of major accomplishments!”
”He is Mister Tennis in every sense. From ballboy to elite player, coach, umpire, tournament organiser, tournament supervisor, technical director at Tennis Québec and tournament director of the National Bank Open and vice president of Tennis Canada, he’s done it all.”
”That’s what makes him a reference in the sport, and that’s precisely the reason why he is so influential in Canadian tennis.”
”Thank you very much for all you have contributed to the development of tennis in Québec.”
–Jean-François Manibal, executive director of Tennis Québecc
”Don’t think all the kind words mean Eugène Lapierre’s time as tournament director is coming to an end. He doesn’t intend to retire any time soon!”