Welcome to Destination NBO, our weekly recap of all the action on the WTA Tour ahead of the National Bank Open in Montréal from August 7 to 13.
DAYS UNTIL THE NATIONAL BANK OPEN: 40
NBO: equal prize money by 2027
In 2027, a milestone in the history of professional tennis in Canada will be achieved. Four years from now, the National Bank Open (NBO) will award the same prize money to the women’s and men’s champions.
Tennis Canada’s major announcement on June 27 was welcomed by many, starting with our homegrown tennis superstars.
“Without the tireless work of Billie Jean King, the Original Nine, Venus Williams and many more players in their wake, we wouldn’t be here today.”
- Bianca Andreescu
“I’m so thrilled, as an active Canadian player, to be witnessing history before my eyes and to be part of this huge moment for women around the world.”
- Leylah Fernandez
“Today is a special day to be a Canadian tennis player. I’m so proud of the work Tennis Canada and National Bank have put into paving the pathway to equal prize money.”
- Rebecca Marino
Echoing the sentiment expressed by Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez and Rebecca Marino is former pro and NBO tournament director Valérie Tétreault. A driving force behind Tennis Canada’s Game. Set. Equity.
initiative, she’s often taken a stand to ensure women’s tennis gets the recognition it deserves.
“We have invested time and resources into giving the women’s game the attention and place it deserves. Our 2023 marketing campaign stating that the best of women’s tennis is the best of tennis is a clear example of these efforts. We have long believed that players on the WTA Tour showcase some of the highest level of skill and athleticism we have ever seen, and with the support of National Bank and the WTA, we will soon be able to recognize that fact with equal prize money. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Until 2027, there will be progressive increases in the amounts handed out to the WTA competitors. Follow this link for a recap of the announcement.
At the press conference, Tennis Canada also took the opportunity to confirm that, starting in 2025, the NBO will be extended to 12 days like the tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami and like those in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai, which were expanded this season.
Read also: The Dawn of a New Era on the WTA Tour
As the tours continue to alternate between Montréal and Toronto, here’s a glimpse of the next five editions of the NBO:
2023 : WTA Montréal - ATP Toronto
2024 : ATP Montréal - WTA Toronto
2025 : WTA Montréal - ATP Toronto
2026 : ATP Montréal - WTA Toronto
2027 : WTA Montréal - ATP Toronto
Stories to watch
Next stop: Wimbledon
The two final stops on the road to Wimbledon are Eastbourne, England, and Bad Homburg, Germany.
At the Bad Homburg Open, RG winner Iga Swiatek will play her first match of the season on grass. The second seed is No. 15 Liudmila Samsonova.
Read also: The Weight of a Nation for the Brits
Two of our own, No. 51 Bianca Andreescu and No. 96 Leylah Fernandez, will also be in action.
Meanwhile at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, the draw is even trickier with eight of the Top 10 slated to compete.
In doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski will team up with Daria Saville of Australia.
There’s no substitute for experience
At the recent lead-ins to Wimbledon, three WTA veterans capitalized on the Top 3’s absence to gain some interesting momentum.
Owing to their recent successes, Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova of Czechia and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia are now sitting at no .6, no. 7 and no. 11, respectively, in the race to the WTA Finals.
On June 25, Kvitova took the title in Berlin with a win over Donna Vekic, while Krejcikova lost to Ostapenko, who claimed her first crown of the season in Birmingham.
Petra Kvitova, 33, is currently 20–7. She started out the year as the No.16 and now sits at No.9, her highest ranking since February 2021. She triumphed at the Miami Open back in April and raised her second winner’s trophy of 2023 in Berlin after spending the past four years failing to secure at least two titles in the same season.
Read also: Is Carlos Alcaraz a Contender at Wimbledon?
Just a few weeks ago, I added Petra to the list of contenders at Wimbledon. Why not one last hurrah—and a third Venus Rosewater Dish—for such a resilient and likeable player?
Barbora Krejcikova has also made a remarkable comeback after tumbling from No. 2 to No. 30 in the nine months between May 2022 and February 2023. After her fantastic results in Birmingham, she goes into Eastbourne as the World No. 10.
Read also: A new battle for WTA supremacy?
With a 23–11 record that includes a win over Iga Swiatek in Dubai, the 27-year-old is in full control of her game.
And as for 26-year-old Jelena Ostapenko, she’s 24–12 and has won 8 of her last 10 matches. In four months, she’s risen from No. 26 to No. 17.
She’s got a tonne of points to defend in Eastbourne, since she fought her way into the final last year but lost the winner’s trophy to none other than Petra Kvitova.
The WTA's best return to Montreal this summer for the National Bank Open August 4 to 13 at IGA Stadium. Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!