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ATP Challenger event returning to Calgary after one-year hiatus

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The health challenge — they hope — is behind them.


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So The Challenger is once again in front of pro tennis enthusiasts of the city.

The ATP announced Tuesday that the Calgary National Bank Challenger will return to Calgary’s OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre in 2022 after a one-year hiatus due to COVID.

“It’s very important to bring the event back,” said Danny Da Costa, CEO of the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre. “We decided not to run the event in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, but we are optimistic that we can return the event to pre-pandemic status in 2022.  

“We have received a lot of interest and feedback from past competitors, fans, sponsors and players in the tennis community who want the event to return, and we are confident that we will deliver another world-class event this November.”


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The ATP Challenger Tour stop — the largest of the loop’s indoor tournament in Canada — is slated for Nov. 6-13, to be exact.

It will be the opening serve of a three-year renewal between the ATP and the tennis centre in southeast Calgary.

And it marks the third instalment of the tourney on the second-tier circuit of pro tennis, a feeder to the ATP Tour.

“Our event has quickly gained a reputation as one of the premier sporting events in Alberta. and many of the players have mentioned that The Challenger is one of the best challengers in the world,” Da Costa said. “It has quickly become a must-attend event.

“The uniqueness of our event is that it’s held in a tennis club to ensure fans can get up-close and personal to the players,” continued Da Costa. “The success of the event has allowed us to attract some of the best emerging tennis talent on the planet.”


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Indeed, The Challenger has attracted former and current top 20 players, including Casper Ruud — currently the No. 8 player in the ATP rankings — Ivo Karlovic — the 2018 Challenger champ and former No. 14 in the world — and Canadian and Davis Cup star Vasek Pospisil — a former top 25 player.

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in action at the ATP Tour 250 in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Nov. 14, 2020.
Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in action at the ATP Tour 250 in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Nov. 14, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

France star Arthur Rinderknech, who is now ranked 60th in the world, won the 2020 edition of The Challenger.

The talent drawn to Calgary’s tour stop has helped make it a quick success.

“We are entering into the golden era of tennis in Canada, and tennis has never been this popular in this country, so I am not surprised by it,” said Da Costa, when asked about how much the event has achieved in such a short time. “Tennis players are among the most recognized names in sport. Locally, there is a lot of interest in tennis in Calgary.”


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Gavin Ziv, Tennis Canada’s senior vice-president of professional events, agrees. 

“We know how important the Challenger circuit is for the players and how much they enjoy the Calgary event,” Ziv said. “It is especially important for our Canadian players to have the chance to accumulate crucial points in the rankings and compete against international players, particularly after a difficult couple of years.

“We are delighted that professional tennis is returning to Calgary.”

Tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.

For more information on the event, visit or

“We partner with over 100 Alberta based companies, so this event is well-supported by the community,” Da Costa added. “We have created some unique opportunities to engage new fans and partner with the corporate community. We firmly believe that this event will become a staple in the Alberta sporting community for many years to come.

“Our facility expansion this spring will allow us to also increase the number of outreach activities — such as clinics, events and sponsor activations — and hopefully, in 2023, we can introduce a combined women’s and men’s pro event.”



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