Rogers Cup 2017 has certainly left its mark on Canadian tennis, with the mighty Federer’s first appearance here since 2011, young Denis Shapovalov’s run to the semifinals and an unbeatable attendance record that was finally broken. Once again, the tournament in Montréal is among the world’s leading events.
Here are ten fun facts you may (or may not!) know about Rogers Cup.
After the final match is played and all is said and done, there’s a reason the winner and runner up at tournaments around the world take the time to thank the volunteers, who make the event possible. Rogers Cup 2017 is 1 288 volunteers on 21 committees that all aim to create the best possible experience for the players, the media and the fans. On behalf of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank and Tennis Canada, thank you 1 288 times!
Sylvie Houle has seen quite a few Rogers Cup tournaments. The event’s most senior volunteer was at her 36th edition this year. She started out on the program committee and then moved to the Tennis Canada boutique committee. For the past decade, she has been part of the Salon Henri-Rochon team. She remembers the time when the main sponsor was a tobacco company and she was thanked with a huge carton of cigarettes. Times certainly have changed!
The Roger Federer effect and Denis Shapovalov’s amazing run were just some of the factors that helped boost tickets sales. The final count has yet to come in but the 2011 attendance record of 213 760 tickets sold has already been surpassed by nearly 3 000 tickets. Indeed, the tournament estimates that 216 097 fans passed through the gates. Approximately 200 standing area tickets on Centre Court were sold every day since Tuesday.
First seed Rafael Nadal of Spain and third seed Dominic Thiem of Austria hit a few balls on a kids’ tennis court built on the world’s highest leaning tower at Olympic Stadium. A film crew was on hand to mark the event and capture the spectacular views.
This year, the Green Plan turned 10, marking a decade of ecoresponsible actions at Rogers Cup. The tournament has been certified carbon neutral since 2008, meaning that the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the players, employees, volunteers and tournament operations are entirely offset. The tournament’s zero waste objective, alternative transportation, responsible procurement guidelines for suppliers and partners, social commitment and awareness building are among the initiatives that make Rogers Cup one of the greenest events in Canada.
This year, a few new items were added to the Rogers Cup players’ menu: Junichi Ikematsu, chef at Jun I on avenue Laurier ouest, was on hand every day between noon and 2 p.m. to prepare fresh sushi for the competitors and their guests. After hearing from other tournaments that ATP players ate sushi morning, noon and night, Tennis Canada decided to include the Japanese specialities to the menu this year.
At the age of 18, Denis Shapovalov became the youngest semifinalist in a Masters 1000 event since the series was created in 1990 and the youngest Rogers Cup semifinalist since the start of the Open Era. His match against 20-year-old Alexander Zverev is also the youngest Masters 1000 semi since two 18-year-olds, Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet, battled in Monte Carlo in 2005.
Rogers Cup provides each Top 10 player with his or her own driver. They are volunteers on the transportation committee and often have quite a few great stories to tell. Committee leader Martin Choquette remembers a tournament when a driver got to spend the entire weekend, all expenses paid, with a player who loved car racing at the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix—an unforgettable experience!
Through light showers, heavy rain and major storms, the 20 members of the operations team are in charge of drying the courts, sometimes with the help of the ball boys and girls. Needless to say, they are ready for anything. With ten members assigned to Centre Court and ten to National Bank Court, the committee rushes when the ATP calls to begin the drying process. The drying time depends on weather conditions, such as the sun and wind. For example, it takes more time to dry a court in the evening than it does in the daytime when the sun is shining. The main courts are usually dried first, but the match courts are always the priority.
With over 216 000 tickets sold for the 2017 edition of Rogers cup, tennis development in Canada will once again receive incredible support as a result of the tournament. Because Tennis Canada is a non-profit national sports organization, all the profits support the expansion, promotion and visibility of the sport across the nation.