Despite not being an especially sporty person, tennis has always been one form of team exercise that I’ve been able to get behind. The outfits are good, the Champagne is always cold, and even the least athletically gifted among us can basically get an idea of the rules if you watch the ball for long enough.
Whether you’re handy with a racket or not, this year’s Rogers Cup presented by National Bank has got you covered for summer entertainment from July 22 -31.
Hosted at Uniprix Stadium, this year's ten-day tournament features female tennis stars like Montreal’s home-grown Eugenie Bouchard and global champion/Beyonce bestie Serena Williams and has much, much more to offer than your standard sports event.
Don’t quote me on the math, but I’m pretty sure there’s at least a 30% chance of seeing somebody famous at tennis matches even if you’re not trying particularly hard. The place is crawling with the world’s best tennis players that can be spied on up close at the practice courts, and if you want to make it even easier, head over to the opening night kick-off on July 25 when two teams of local celebrities will face off against each other.
Consuming unholy quantities of food is a staple of any sporting occasion and the Rogers Cup will be participating in this proud tradition by offering up everything from hot dogs to haute cuisine. With options ranging from barbecues and poutine to sit-in dining, provided by Montreal’s Top Chef Marie-Fleur St-Pierre from Tapeo and Meson, there’s really no reason to watch other people exercise on an empty stomach.
3. And… Drink!
Maybe it’s because I’m British and we have entire alcohol brands built around tennis, but something about watching people who aren't me sweat it out on the courts makes me want to kick back with a cocktail. Luckily, the organizers were clearly prepared for that and have planned accordingly – boozy refreshments are available across the tournament site, including in the Bistro SAQ.
4. Treat yourself
Speaking of celebrities, it doesn’t hurt to indulge like you’re someone important every now and again. Live it up between matches in luxurious lounges, on the beautiful rooftop terrace or on the Mazda mezzanine overlooking tennis courts – you’ll wonder how you were ever happy to watch from the couch.
5. Buy a once-in-lifetime find
It’s not every day that you get access to some of the most accomplished sports professionals in the world, and it’s just as infrequently that you get a chance to buy up their related memorabilia. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind purchases, all kinds of unique items and collectibles will be available for bidding at the silent auction tent.
6. Or just stock up on tennis swag
There’s a lot of gear to be had this year at the Rogers Cup and shopping is one sport that takes no practice at all. Don’t embarrass yourself when you meet your tennis heroes by getting them to sign your arm – pick up some official merchandise and remember your day in hard copy. Public transport is free with presentation of a Rogers Cup ticket, so save that extra cash for keepsakes.
7. Listen to music
Open-air music is one of the many perks of summer in Montreal and the Rogers Cup organizers have made sure that you won't be missing out just because the tennis is on. Musical entertainment is provided on-site throughout the day if the phrase ‘15-Love’ means nothing to you anymore. Catch musical performances by local talents at the Casino de Montreal stage or hang out at the Tennis Canada Zone where a live DJ will be spinning good summer beats during happy hours!
8. Dress to Impress
Luckily for me and my fondness for baseball jackets and all sports-inspired clothing, it’s completely unnecessary to display any sporting ability in order to dress the part. With Vogue editor Anna Wintour buddying up with Roger Federer and the Kardashians going out to the US Open, tennis is officially worth getting a little glam for, whether you’re playing or spectating." class="lml-instagram-embed" />via @undefined
9. Instagram everything
Summer weather, globally recognized sports stars, rooftop terraces and the infinite variety of weird tennis sounds and faces means that you better charge your phone before heading to the stadium. You never know what gem you might snap of an internationally successful athlete – and don’t forget to share it with the world by tagging #CoupeRogers.
10. Build connections
For the more entrepreneurially-savvy among us, events like the Roger’s Cup that draw professionals and business people from all over the world are a networking dream. Get tickets in exclusive private suites or socialize Mad Men-style at the newly installed Tennis Canada Zone with Montreal’s most influential young professionals.