Again this year, the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank will kick off in style with the Hygrade Family Weekend, from Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9. Fans will have front row seats to watch the world’s best men’s tennis players gear up, catch the qualifying matches and take part in a host of family activities free of charge.
On Friday, some 10 000 people came by Uniprix Stadium to see the first players take to the courts. Milos Raonic had the honour of getting the tennis balls rolling before his friendly match against Mayor Denis Coderre, who was thrilled to have been able to return one of the Canadian’s powerful serves. Of course, Raonic went easy on the mayor and didn’t roll out his A game.
The qualifying matches are slated to start at 10 a.m. this morning. Five Canadians will be in action: Isade Juneau, Peter Polansky, Brayden Schnur, Kelsey Stevenson and David Volfson. With a draw of such high calibre, the competition promises to be fierce. In fact, the first three seeds are Nicolas Mahut (no.66) of France, Thanasi Kokkinakis (no.72) of Australia and Alexandr Dolgopolov (no.73) of Ukraine.
Tennis and so much more
The weekend won’t only be about tennis. On Saturday, the stadium will host the ever-popular ATP vs. NHL ball hockey tournament. The National Hockey League will be well represented by Alex Burrows, Lars Eller, Jiri Hudler, Cédric Paquette, Marie-Philip Poulin and Antoine Roussel. The ball will drop at around 2 p.m. on National Bank Court. Then on Sunday at 2 p.m., Montréal Impact players will go head-to-head against tennis pros in a friendly soccer match. Ignacio Piatti, Domino Oduro, Andres Romero, Wandrille Lefèvre, Victor Cabrera and Marco Donadel sent this clear message a few weeks ago. After the match, Rafael Nadal will hit a few balls with Piatti.
Inflatable games, beach tennis, face painting, clowns, stilt walkers, mascots and dance and kids tennis lessons will also be going on all weekend.