In 1993, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which governs the men’s tour, asked its nine leading events—known as the Super 9 then and Masters 1000 today—to present at least one US$50,000 Challenger tournament so emerging players could gain access to higher quality competitions. Tennis Canada, which oversaw a Super 9 that alternated between Montréal and Toronto, therefore had to create its very own Challenger.
In 1993 and 1994, the first two editions of the event were organized at the Château Montebello under an agreement with CN, which owned the resort.
But in early 1995, Tennis Canada and the Château Montebello were unable to renew their initial contract. Just two months before the Challenger was to be presented, the tournament officially moved to Granby. Despite the tight deadlines, the competition was a tremendous success. The town of Granby was wholly impressed and agreed to provide significant financial support and host the tournament in the long term. Today, nearly 27 years later and even after many changes, the partnership remains strong!
In 2011, the program was expanded with a U$S25,000 women’s ITF tournament. A year later, Eugenie Bouchard claimed the 2012 winner’s trophy and her very first professional title.
At the most recent edition, in 2019, the Granby Challenger doubled the prizemoney to US$100,000 for the men’s edition and $50,000 for the women’s.
In 2022, the tournament in Granby underwent yet another transformation to become the National Bank Championships: a mixed event featuring a WTA 250 and an ATP Challenger. The Granby National Bank Championships joined the ranks of the thirty or so WTA 250 tournaments held around the world, in cities such as Sydney, Lyon, Istanbul, Prague and Seoul. In addition to giving Canadian players a golden opportunity to compete on home soil and earn valuable ranking points, the competition provides fans in and around Granby with the chance to see elite competitors in action.
- This requirement of the Super 9 (today’s Masters 1000) was removed a few years later, but Tennis Canada never stopped presenting the tournament in Granby (except in 1996, when the ATP asked to cancel the event when it was to be held at the same time as the Olympics).