Photo: Sarah-Jäde Champagne
Due to the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great regret that Tennis Canada announced on Friday the postponement of the Calgary National Bank Challenger men’s event, the women’s Challenger event in Fredericton as well as the Drummondville National Bank Challenger men’s event.
“Our first thoughts go out to the organizing committees of these three tournaments who work tirelessly to offer a high quality event to both players and fans. It is a sad day for all of them as well as for their partners, their volunteers and tennis fans across the country. That said, the health and safety of the players, their teams, the fans and our tournament staff are the top priority at this time,” stated Gavin Ziv, Vice-President, Professional Events at Tennis Canada. “Knowing their passion for their respective tournaments, we know that they will continue to work hard to plan for the next edition of their respective events and will continue to proudly represent the regions of Calgary, Fredericton and Drummondville.”
The Calgary National Bank Challenger men’s event was scheduled to take place in February 2021 at the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre.
“Although we are disappointed to be postponing the Challenger, we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of those participating in the event, as well as the Calgary community and participants and visitors from across the province. It is our intention to resume hosting the event, once it is safe to do so. It will allow our organization to move forward with our expansion plans which we hope to have completed in time for the 2022 Calgary National Bank Challenger,” said Danny Da Costa, Tournament Director.
The women’s Challenger event in Fredericton was supposed to be held in March 2021 at the Abony Family Tennis Center.
“We are obviously disappointed, but we understand that we must postpone the Fredericton Challenger due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The players, officials and fans are our priority; therefore, we must take into account their health and safety. Fredericton has a rich history in tennis and we look forward to being able to welcome back our event under the safest conditions possible in the near future,” said Tournament Director Rufus Nel.
The seventh edition of the Drummondville National Bank Challenger men’s event was also scheduled to take place in March 2021 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club.
“While there is clear disappointment in having to postpone our event, we recognize that it is the prudent decision given the ongoing pandemic. Our tournament has established a strong group of loyal fans, supporters and volunteers in Drummondville as well as a great reputation among players from around the world. We know that we will get through this together and come out stronger than ever,” stated Alain Caillé, one of the co-chairs of the tournament. “We are holding out hope that we might be able to hold our tournament later in the year, depending on the circumstances. In the coming months, we will be working on a plan and will make sure to update all key stakeholders as we move forward.”
The remainder of the tournament calendar for the 2021 season has not been confirmed.
“We are optimistic about hosting more professional events in 2021 and will address this topic in the coming months as we continue to monitor the pandemic situation. We are exploring a number of scenarios and options available to us to be able to organize tournaments in the coming year all while making sure that the health and safety of the fans, the players, the volunteers and the partners is at the heart of our strategy,” stated Gavin Ziv.