The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Karl’s Court: Looking back on 2021 and ahead to 2022

December 6, 2021

Photo: Peter Power / Tennis Canada

When I sit and reflect on 2021, the overriding feeling is one of pride.

Pride that, despite all of the factors involved, we were able to stage a successful National Bank Open presented by Rogers with spectators. Rewind to just a few months before the tournament and we weren’t even sure if we’d be able to host it at all.

So, being able to watch our No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev raise our new trophy on a sunny Sunday afternoon on August 15 certainly brought a smile to my face.

We know things were quite different this year from a fan’s perspective, so we really appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation when attending the event. We hosted around 50,000 spectators over the course of the week, which is a pretty incredible feat considering we weren’t sure if we’d be able to welcome any fans just a few short weeks earlier. Full kudos must go to our organizing committee of Tennis Canada staff and our dedicated volunteers who worked so hard to ensure the event went ahead seamlessly, despite all of the challenges we faced.

Photo: Peter Power

As we turn attention to 2022, we can’t wait to welcome the world’s best WTA players to Toronto from August 6-14. I’m sure Canadian fans will be particularly excited to see our very own Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu in action on home soil. Demand has been sky-high for our Canadians, and – especially since Leylah’s incredible run to the US Open final in September – I’ve been receiving non-stop calls from people asking, “what’s in the water in Canada?”. Taking Leylah’s lead, I tell them “it’s the maple syrup”.

But our Canadian success stories don’t stop there. Gabriela Dabrowski, who won the doubles title this year in Montreal, as well as Sharon Fichman, who competed in the WTA Finals last month, and Genie Bouchard, who we hope will be back in action really soon, should all be in action in Toronto next year.

The level of competition on the WTA Tour is so high. It really does feel like anyone could make a deep run in any given tournament and that’s testament to the depth the women’s game has right now. From World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty to Toronto fan-favourite Simona Halep and 2021 breakthrough sensation Emma Raducanu, the WTA is stacked with superstars as well as young up-and-comers who are ready to make their name.

For the Toronto event, we’re already open for business when it comes to full-event and multi-session packages, suites and group tickets. As is usually the case, we’ll be launching a pre-sale for individual tickets in January during the first week of the Australian Open and then we’ll go on general sale during the second week.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish the entire tennis community a very Happy Holidays. I hope you are all able to spend time with friends and family, and thoroughly enjoy the festivities.

All the best and bye for now,

Karl Hale
Tournament Director
National Bank Open presented by Rogers