August 20, 2022 -03371635-/Tennis Canada Maria Stakusic
By: Mario Brisebois
From August 20 to 28, it’s the Granby National Bank Championships.
The preparations to host the tournament, which has been expanded with a WTA 250 event in addition to the traditional Challenger, are well underway.
“We have to keep moving forward. The players start arriving on Thursday and Friday,” said organizing committee chair Alain Faucher to the sounds of a trailer arriving to deliver the marquees and a crane installing bleachers or the set for the TV crew.
“Being jammed between two schools and a church means we don’t have a lot of room, but we’re making it happen,” he added.
Granby has tennis fever, and that’s tremendously encouraging for Alain Faucher and his team.
Mayor Julie Bourdon set the example when she agreed to be the honorary chair of the tournament, which will turn an international spotlight on her city next week. And the people of Granby joined in.
“We hoped 300 people would volunteer, which was a challenge after being cancelled for two years because of the pandemic, but we have 340 volunteers. We weren’t sure we’d get there. In total, 600 people have been given credentials,” said Faucher.
It was the level of tennis, which is far superior to previous years, that got fans in Granby in the game
The top seed is still Beatriz Haddad Maia. Last week, the current World No.16 battled Simona Halep in the final of the National Bank Open in Toronto.
“We’ll fill the stands,” confirmed Faucher. “Our finals on August 27 [women’s event] and 28 [men’s event] are sold out.”
The full-week packages would have also sold out if a little red light hadn’t gone off.
“We had to stop selling them because demand was too high. Not just the suites, which have a long waiting list, but the stands. There were a few places here and there, but we wanted the people of Granby to have the chance to come to their own Championships.”
Insider tip: if you want tickets, act fast.
Reversal of fortune
Newly-crowned National Bank Open champion Pablo Carreno Busta and National Bank Open finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia were both eliminated in their opening round matches in Cincinnati.
No news is good news
Neither Tennis Canada in Montréal nor the tournament office in Granby have heard from seed no.1 Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Everyone’s giving her a chance to regroup after Cincinnati and hoping for the best, of course.
Alain Faucher isn’t getting nervous about it: “There’ll be other good players here next week.”
The match-ups will be decided when tournament director Richard Quirion leads the official draw ceremony on Friday at 5:30 p.m.