MONTREAL, May 7, 2019 (Tennis Canada Press Release)
The second annual Calgary National Bank Challenger has changed dates for the 2020 calendar year. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2018, the tournament will not take place in 2019 and will instead be disputed from February 24-March 1, 2020, the week following the Drummondville National Bank Challenger (February 17-23, 2020), thus creating a mini-Canadian circuit at the start of the season.
“The new date of this event presents our players with a tremendous opportunity to amass crucial points at two tournaments on home soil in quick succession,” commented Gavin Ziv, Vice-President of professional events at Tennis Canada. “Ahead of the first ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory events of the year at Indian Wells and Miami, the timing could not be better. We need only look at the recent success of our country’s outstanding young players, such as Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime, at tournaments in early 2019 to appreciate how important a strong start to the season can be for their development.”
The inaugural edition of the Calgary National Bank Challenger was a triumph both on and off the court. Over 6,500 tickets and 98% of corporate boxes were sold, while 140,000 people watched the livestream via the ATP website. The tournament’s new dates will serve to enhance those figures with the benefit of back-to-back events in Quebec and Alberta over the course of a two-week period.
“This is good news for all Canadian players as it means that we will now be able to play at home for two back-to-back Challengers at the beginning of the season,” stated Canadian Brayden Schnur, quarter-finalist at the Calgary Challenger and semi-finalist at the Drummondville Challenger in 2018 and currently ranked no. 117 on the ATP Tour. “Many of us earned our first ATP points playing a Challenger tournament on home soil and this represents a great opportunity for up-and-coming players. I am excited about the prospect of playing in these two tournaments next February as I have had great experiences at both events.”
“We are delighted to announce the new date for the next edition of the tournament,” said Danny Da Costa, Tournament Director of the Calgary National Bank Challenger. “Last year’s event was a resounding success and we feel the new date presents us with a fantastic opportunity to be part of an unforgettable fortnight of tennis in Canada, in collaboration with our counterparts in Drummondville. We would also like to express our gratitude to the event’s sponsors and partners for their continued support.”
In 2020, the Drummondville National Bank Challenger will also be celebrating its sixth anniversary. Since its beginning in 2015, the tournament’s organizing committee has worked tirelessly to improve the experience being offered to fans and to keep players coming back year after year. As a result, the tournament has not only established itself in Canada, but is also a standout Challenger event on the international scene.
“We are very pleased that our tournament will be scheduled alongside the Calgary Challenger. We believe that having two tournaments in Canada in as many weeks at the start of the season will have a positive impact for both events,” said Alain Caillé, Co-Chair of the Drummondville National Bank Challenger. “This will certainly assure a great delegation of Canadian players as well as a strong presence from some of the best international players. We would like to thank the ATP Tour, Tennis Canada and the Calgary Challenger for their support and we look forward to this collaboration.”