Photo: Paul Rivard
It’s the emblematic—and most impressive—trophy of the world’s oldest team sports competition.
After crossing Canada from coast to coast, the Davis Cup made a final stop at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montréal, though the evening ceremony that was planned on Centre Court got washed out.
The first question is usually how much is the hardware worth? Julie Gravel, marketing director at Tennis Canada, confirmed that it’s valued at $500,000. There is indeed a replica of the prize, but Montréal is currently hosting the OG trophy.
“We definitely have the original. Just look at the inscriptions. There’s no doubt about the age of this old and impressive object,” she said.
Ensuring all the fans could get a selfie with the Davis Cup requires some impressive logistics.
“For a mission of this magnitude, Tennis Canada called upon the services of an external firm to handle the security and insurance. First, a security device is required 24/7, except when the Davis Cup is placed in an undisclosed secure location, when it isn’t being transported,” Julie explained.
After the final leg of its Canadian tour, the Davis Cup will make its way back to ITF headquarters in London.
On August 7, the 2022 Davis Cup champions were all at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto for the NBO and a Davis Cup celebration. Even Denis Shapovalov, who’s been out with a knee injury, was in town for the special event.
The coach and players each received their massive championship rings engraved to commemorate their epic victory.
Watch the ceremony here.
Since last March, the Davis Cup has stopped in most Canadian provinces so as many Canadians as possible could get a glimpse of it. At IGA Stadium, it was given pride of place.
Over two days, countless enthusiasts came by to take a look and a selfie. Clarisse Boudreau and Alain Bédard of Lévis—diehard fans who even travelled all the way to the Melbourne to attend a Slam—posed for a photo with the trophy taken by their friends Johanne Malek of Natashquan and Denis Dionne of Sept-Îles.
Philippe Côté of Laval, who was at the NBO with his partner Viviane Drolet, their daughter Justine and her friend Léonie Lavoie, did what many admirers do and crouched down to get a good look at the names of Félix Auger-Aliassime and his teammates who made tennis history.
Canada’s Davis Cup pioneers
Despite the Davis Cup ceremony on Centre Court being cancelled due to rain, Tennis Canada hosted Québec’s Davis Cup pioneers for a special toast.
From left to right: Martin Laurendeau, François Godbout, Stéphane Bonneau, Réjean Genois, Sébastien LeBlanc, Sébastien Lareau, Jocelyn Robichaud and Pierre Lamarche. Centre: Peter Kruyt, chair of Tennis Canada’s Board of Directors.
Thanks for everything, Eugène!
Though he’s been honored many times in tennis circles, Eugène Lapierre had his moment on Centre Court after Jessica Pegula’s semifinal win over Iga Swiatek on Saturday afternoon.
In the photo are NBO tournament director Valérie Tétreault, Marie-Ève Lemay (National Bank), Josée Noiseux (Tennis Canada), Jessica Pegula (NBO finalist, representing the WTA), Isabelle Charest (Minister Responsible for Sports), Édith Cloutier (Rogers) and Eugène’s daughter Éléonore.
As his daughter beamed with pride, Eugène spoke at length about his two decades at the helm of the NBO and especially about the joy of it all.
“It was part of our brand to have fun. We always figured that if we didn’t have fun organizing it, people wouldn’t have fun coming to it. It may not seem logical, but that’s what we believed.”
Thanks for everything, Pat!
An hour later in the press box, legendary sports columnist Pat Hickey of The Gazette was honoured by his colleagues and Tennis Canada’s communications team.
Pat was on his last assignment after covering the National Bank Open for 56 years (!).
A very happy retirement, Mr. Hickey!