Raonic returns shot on his backhand

FAQ: What you need to know about Rogers Cup tennis

Fans and athletes alike are gearing up as hometown players and international superstars are set to hit the courts in Toronto and Montreal.

Long before it had a title sponsor, the Canadian Open was first held in 1881, the same year as the first US Open and just four years after the first Wimbledon, making it the third oldest tennis tournament in the world.

With Rogers Cup main draw competition beginning on Monday in both Toronto and Montreal, we’ve got your most pressing questions covered below:

When is the Rogers Cup?

The 2019 tournament will take place August 5-11. This year sees the men competing in Montreal and the women on court in Toronto. One thing that makes this tournament so unique is that it is the only one in the world to have alternating host cities, so next year the men will be in Toronto and the women in Montreal.

Which Canadians will be competing in Toronto and Montreal?

Six Canadians will be in the men’s singles draw in Montreal, headlined by Milos Raonic, Félix Auger-Aliassime, and Denis Shapovalov who give Canada three direct entries for the first time ever. Brayden Schnur, Vasek Pospisil and Peter Polansky were granted wild card entries into the main draw.

As for the women, Canada will be represented in Toronto by Bianca Andreescu, Genie Bouchard, and Leylah Fernandez.

Milos Raonic returning shot

Milos Raonic, of Team Canada, returns a shot to Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, during second round Men’s Rogers Cup tennis tournament action in Toronto, Wednesday, August 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

After a strong start to this season, Raonic returns to ATP Masters 1000 Canada for the 12th time in his career. He’ll be looking to improve on his previous best result from 2013 when he lost to Rafael Nadal in the final.

At number 22 in the world, Auger-Aliassime will be playing in his hometown tournament for the first time after an extremely impressive showing at Wimbledon. He was previously given a wild card entry in the 2017 tournament but withdrew because of injury.

Félix Auger-Aliassime serves to his opponent

Felix Auger-Aliassime, of Canada, serves to Lucas Pouille, not shown, of France, during the first round of the Men’s Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto, Tuesday, August 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

When the men last played in Montreal in 2017, then-rookie Shapovalov had a magical run to the semifinals, which included a win over Rafael Nadal. Now ranked 31st in the world, Shapovalov would like to improve upon his third-round performance from last year.

After spending eight months on the shelf recovering from back surgery, Pospisil will compete in just his third tournament of the year after making his return at Wimbledon. He had his best outing in 2013 when he ended up facing Raonic in the semifinals.

Andreescu stunned the tennis world early in 2019 when she won the title at Indian Wells. She heads into her hometown tournament ranked 26th in the world, though she has not played since being eliminated in the second round of the French Open at the end of May.

Bouchard reaching for ball

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada returns to Elise Mertens of Belgium during first round action at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, Tuesday August 7, 2018 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Bouchard is playing in her 12th Rogers Cup and is hoping the home crowd can help her turn around her season. At the other end of the spectrum is 16-year-old Fernandez who will make her Canadian Open main draw debut. She won the girls singles title at this year’s French Open – the first Canadian woman to win a junior Grand Slam title since Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2012 – after making it to the junior final at the Australian Open.

Who else will be competing at the Canadian Open?

Halep celebrating

Simona Halep of Romania reacts after defeating Sloane Stephens of the United States to win the final of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Sunday August 12, 2018 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

In Toronto, world number one Ashleigh Barty, reigning Australian and US Open champion Naomi Osaka, newly-crowned Wimbledon champion and last year’s winner Simona Halep, and the legendary Serena Williams will be among those vying for the women’s singles title.  

Rafa Nada celebrates with trophy

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, bites on the championship trophy after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas, of Greece, during men’s finals Rogers Cup tennis tournament action in Toronto on Sunday, August 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

In Montreal, the headliner in the men’s draw is defending champion Rafael Nadal, who could be challenged by top-10 players such as Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Kei Nishikori.

How can I watch the Rogers Cup?

Sportsnet will be broadcasting the tournaments from both Toronto and Montreal. You can check out the schedule for their network of channels as well as Sportsnet NOW.

You can also stay up to date on the tournament by following @Rogers Cup/@Coupe Rogers and @TennisCanada on social media.

And of course, if you happen to be in Toronto or Montreal, buy those tickets and head on over to the Aviva Centre or Stade IGA to see some of the world’s best players in person.

Where can I find the tournament schedule?

The full and complete tournament schedule can be found by visiting the official website. The first round of action begins Monday, August 5, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Keep checking for the updated order of play, but what we do know is that Auger-Aliassime will open his tournament against Pospisil on Tuesday afternoon, while Andreescu will square-off against Bouchard on Tuesday night in Toronto.

Is the Rogers Cup a Grand Slam?

No, but it is one of the more important tournaments on the calendar with lots of ranking points available. For the men, it is an ATP Masters 1000 event while it is a Premier 5 event on the WTA tour.

What type of surface is used at the Canadian Open?

View of Aviva Centre court from inside the stadium

Milos Raonic(CAN) playing against Yen-Hsun Lu(TPE) at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Ontario on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Peter Power for Tennis Canada)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of hard courts being used in both Toronto and Montreal. Prior to 1979, the tournament was played on clay, but as a warm-up tournament to the US Open it was only logical to have the same surface on the courts.

What other activities are happening in Toronto and Montreal during the tournament?

From August 3 to 11, there are a number of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, ranging from playing tennis on mini courts to trying out VR headsets. Each day there will also be multiple live music performances. The full list of activities can be found here.