Toronto loses Rogers Cup men’s event for 2020 because of COVID-19

Toronto loses Rogers Cup men’s event for 2020 because of COVID-19

TORONTO — The Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament will not be played in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Tennis Canada said in a release issued Wednesday that the event’s start date will be pushed back until Aug. 7, 2021.

The annual ATP Tour event, which rotates between Toronto and Montreal, was scheduled to be played Aug. 8-16 at the Aviva Centre at York University.

With the Rogers Cup 2020 women’s tournament in Montreal shelved earlier this month and rescheduled for next year in the same city, the men’s event also will remain in Toronto in 2021.

Tennis Canada said it considered holding the event without fans, but decided against the idea due to travel restrictions and potential strains on public health.

“Organizing a closed-door event is complex and requires certain important health and operational protocols to be put in place,” Gavin Ziv, managing director of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, said in the release. “We estimated that to organize and broadcast such a tournament, we would require having up to 450 people on-site.

“The safety of these people during the two weeks of the event would have been a concern for Tennis Canada and in the current context, the level of risk would have remained high, especially for a sport like tennis where athletes comes from all parts of the world. In addition, at this time, the federal law relating to access to our country and mandatory quarantine would require players to arrive in Canada well before the start of the tournament, which made things much more difficult.”

According to Tennis Canada president and chief executive officer Michael Downey, the organization has absorbed a loss of $17 million this year.

“Tennis Canada cannot afford to increase this deficit,” Downey said. “As of today, there is no guarantee that a closed-door tournament would significantly mitigate those losses.”

Tennis Canada said tickets purchased for the 2020 Rogers Cup will be valid at the 2021 tournament.

“I know that Tennis Canada worked hard and did everything they could to try to make a closed-door event possible, as I personally checked in a few times to see how it was progressing,” Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic said in a release. “It saddens me to know that I won’t be able to compete in my hometown in August, but I am already looking forward to returning in 2021 and playing in front of a full house in Toronto.”

Founded in 1881 as the Canadian championships, the men’s tournament has been held every year except for 1905, 1915 to 1918 (First World War) and 1941 to 1945 (Second World War).

It is the latest major annual Canadian sporting event to announce it will not go off on schedule because of COVID-19. The Queen’s Plate horse race, RBC Canadian Open golf tournament and the Honda Indy auto race in Toronto, the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race and Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament in Montreal, the Vanier Cup varsity football championship and the Calgary Stampede rodeo also won’t run on their expected dates.

All ATP Tour events through July have been cancelled or postponed.

The men’s tennis tournament has had several different names — the Canadian Open, the du Maurier Open, the Player’s International, the Canada Masters and the Rogers Cup (since 2005).

Spain’s Rafael Nadal has won the past two Rogers Cup men’s singles competitions.

Robert Bedard of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., is the most recent Canadian winner, capturing the title in 1955, 1957 and 1958.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Tennis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

school
Rimbey Christian School building projects nearing completion

New gym, soccer field and skating rink will be open to community use as well

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Kelowna RCMP Stock Image.
Bentley post office damaged, armed robbery at Subway

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to incidents in Bentley last month

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Most Read