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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

The Dawn of a New Era on the WTA Tour

Five years. That’s how long it’s been since best of the WTA Tour played in front of a capacity crowd at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal.

Five years. That’s how long it’s been since the best of the WTA Tour played in front of a capacity crowd at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the tournament in 2020, the women returned to IGA Stadium the following year and were greeted with half-empty stands and significant restrictions. Everyone is looking forward to a return to normal in August, especially the players.

The fact is that much has changed over that five-year span so it would be wise to set the scene before the action gets underway less than 50 days from now. 


Did you know that Laval’s own Leylah Annie Fernandez was awarded a wild card for the qualifying draw of her home event in 2018? She was 15 years old at the time and won her opening match over Alicja Rosolska before falling to Katie Boulter with the chance to earn a spot in the main draw on the line. Since then, she’s reached the U.S. Open final and achieved a career-high ranking of no. 13. Czech Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion, also played in qualifying that year.


Meanwhile, the main draw was headlined by the likes of Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, and Elina Svitolina. Ashleigh Barty was the no. 15 seed and Naomi Osaka was seeded no. 16. Current world no. 2 Aryna Sabalenka wasn’t even on the initial entry list and Maria Sharapova made her final appearance in Montreal.

The tournament culminated with one of the best championship matches of the season on the WTA Tour between Halep and Sloane Stephens, a three-set thriller featuring many extended rallies and great shot-making. In the end, the Romanian captured her second consecutive title at IGA Stadium.


Fast forward five years and the women’s tennis landscape is significantly different. Barty, Sharapova, Wozniacki, and Serena Williams are retired. Osaka is on maternity leave and Svitolina is currently on the comeback trail after giving birth to her daughter, Skaï. Only two of the Top 10 players in 2018, Caroline Garcia and Petra Kvitova, remain in the elite group today.


This sizable shift means a new ‘Big 3’ has emerged: Iga Swiatek, Sabalenka, and Elena Rybakina. Together, they are setting a new high standard for their peers to aspire to. If a big title is on the line, chances are they will be in the mix for the crown. Case in point, they’ve split the last five Grand Slam singles trophies between them. Swiatek will actually be making her Montreal debut in 2023.

Just because they're dominant doesn't mean they don't have worthy adversaries. Coco Gauff, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula, and Maria Sakkari to name just a few. The depth is unprecedented and that only speaks to the current excellence of the ‘Big 3’.

Not to worry though, there are still plenty of familiar faces who Montreal fans will recognize including Kvitova, Garcia, and Victoria Azarenka. Not to mention the Canadians, like Fernandez, Bianca Andreescu, and Rebecca Marino who have already made a name for themselves on home soil in a big way. There could be as many as six former National Bank Open champions in the draw which means that not everything is different.

It’s the dawn of a new era and Montreal is about to get its first glimpse of what the fuss is all about while many of the players are about to get their first taste of what a full house feels like at one of the most popular stops on the WTA Tour.

Get your tickets today and help us welcome them back in style.