Photo : Sara-Jade Champagne / Tennis Canada
The 2019 edition of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank broke attendance records, hosted huge crowds wanting to see their homegrown hero and featured a final between one of the most accomplished and one of the promising players in tennis today. Still, Eugène Lapierre, Rogers Cup tournament director, keeps aiming higher.
“In 2019, we improved the player facilities,” he revealed at his tournament wrap up conference on Sunday. “We expanded the gym, for example. As far as players, it’s very simple: they want to eat well, sleep well and be able to prepare for their matches. […] We also provided the semi-finalists with a private jet to fly to Cincinnati on Saturday night because it’s quite complicated to leave from here. If we hadn’t, they would have lost a day.”
Eugène Lapierre and his team also made sure to enhance the food and drink offerings for fans: “We really improved our food services with more options, food trucks and bars for refreshments and more shaded areas. We also improved the parking logistics.”
Even on Sunday morning, organizers could be found walking around the site taking notes. “While people love the site—and they came up to me all week and told me they did—we still see little things that could be better. We jot them all down so we can improve next year,” he explained.
With the tremendous popularity of opening weekend, the 40th anniversary celebrations and Rafael Nadal’s fifth triumph, it was still the strong contingent of six Canadian players in the main draw that stood out.
“This year’s event proved once again that so much can happen at a tournament. But, until Thursday, the major story was the Canadians. Even after they all ended up on the same lines in the draw, we realized the enormous potential and the great years of tennis ahead of us,” affirmed Lapierre. Still, for Eugène Lapierre, what is most important is that the players and fans are happy. Based on the positive feedback he has received from ATP, he knows he has achieved this goal: “Montréal tennis fans are the real winners. The atmosphere on site all week was just remarkable, from the first Friday when the players arrived. It continued throughout the qualifying event and at each session. Some say that’s what sets us apart from other events. I was listening to the ATP supervisor’s report on Rogers Cup and there all only positives. He was especially impressed to see fans lined up all the way to the street on the Sunday of the qualifiers. I think the players feel appreciated and that’s so important.”