Calgary is on the ATP map.
Tennis Canada and National Bank announced on Tuesday that a new men’s professional tennis tournament is coming to Calgary in 2018. The tournament will be held October 13 to 21 at the Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre and is sanctioned by the ATP.
The Calgary National Bank Challenger will be a stop on the ATP Challenger Tour, a stepping stone many players take before graduating to the ATP World Tour. It’s a circuit that Denis Shapovalov appeared on before he burst onto the world scene last year.
Canada’s Vasek Pospisil – a player with Grand Slam and Davis Cup experience – won a Challenger Tour tournament in France this weekend.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) January 28, 2018
One of the brightest young stars in Canadian tennis, 17-year-old Félix Auger-Aliassime from Montreal, could be one of the players to watch out for in October. He won the boy’s singles tournament at the US Open in 2016, and was a finalist at the French Open the same year.
“This is obviously good news for all of our young Canadian players,” said Auger-Aliassime in a media release. “It is actually thanks to the National Bank Challengers that I was able to make my debut on the professional circuit.”
The Calgary-based tournament will offer $75,000 USD in prize money and hospitality to the competing players.
“We are very proud to announce the addition of the Calgary National Bank Challenger to our calendar,” said Gavin Ziv, vice-president, professional and national events at Tennis Canada. “Calgary is an emerging tennis market, especially with the opening of the new Tennis Centre. We are pleased to offer more and more professional tournaments on Canadian soil. These tournaments give our players the chance to accumulate important points in the rankings and to compete against international players without having to leave the country.”
Calgary had already been hosting a pro tennis event, the Men’s Futures tournament, since 2013 – but this is certainly a step up.
“We look forward to showcasing the best up and coming players on the ATP World Tour,” said tournament director Danny Da Costa. “We are confident that hosting the Calgary National Bank Challenger will create opportunities to grow tennis participation in Calgary but also in the province of Alberta. This event will also inspire a new generation of Canadian tennis players.”