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Tennis Canada Launches Billie Jean King Cup Champions Tour – Tennis Canada

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Friday morning, at Montreal’s IGA Stadium, Tennis Canada officially launched the Billie Jean King Cup Champions Tour, a journey that will see the renowned trophy from the international team competition make stops in all 10 provinces across the country.

Team Canada, comprised of Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC), Marina Stakusic (Mississauga, ON), and Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC), made history last November by winning its maiden Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge title after defeating Italy in the 2023 Finals held in Seville, Spain. Canada became the 13th nation to be crowned champions of the Billie Jean King Cup, which was founded in 1963.

“As we had the opportunity to embark on a first tour last year to commemorate our maiden men’s title at the Davis Cup, we are thrilled to do so again this year, this time to celebrate our women’s team,” said Gavin Ziv, CEO of Tennis Canada. “The rise of Canadian women’s tennis is the result of the efforts of countless individuals, past and present. From staff directly involved on the court with our athletes to individual organizations supporting the development of our sport, many people have played a role in our success, and it was essential for us to provide everyone with the opportunity to celebrate our historic victory at the Billie Jean King Cup.”

“Words cannot describe the feeling of pride our team experienced when we lifted the trophy in November. This moment marked history, and we are very excited to celebrate this success with all Canadians,” said Heidi El Tabakh, Team Canada Captain for the Billie Jean King Cup. “Above all, this title is an unprecedented collective achievement, and we look forward to reliving this special event with as many people as possible as the trophy travels across the country.”

TOUR DETAILS

Canada’s victory at the Billie Jean King Cup has been years in the making, resulting from the hard work of so many pioneers who broke barriers to make Canadian women’s tennis what it is today. As such, the tour will aim to celebrate the past, present, and future of the sport, highlighting not only some of the individuals who have enabled our female athletes to reach the highest levels of global tennis, but also how this success will create more opportunities for future generations.

With gender equity being at the forefront of Tennis Canada’s priorities, the Billie Jean King Cup Champions Tour will create more opportunities for women and girls to participate in the sport. Engaging activities from the Game. Set. Equity. Initiative, the strategy developed by Tennis Canada and National Bank to advance gender equity in tennis, will be offered at all stops to provide professional development opportunities for women leaders and inspire the next generation of women athletes. These activities will include panels with various individuals from the tennis world as well as Girls. Set. Match. tournaments, which are tennis events specifically created for young girls.

In addition to being showcased at tournaments, tennis clubs, city halls, and public spaces, the trophy will be featured at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in both cities.

  • In Toronto, with the WTA back in town, a special on-court ceremony with the winning team will be held as part of the event’s opening night (Tuesday, August 6) to celebrate their historic achievement. The team, which will be reunited for the first time since the Finals last November, will also receive their championship rings as part of the festivities.
  • In Montreal, a ceremony with the trophy will take place on court at the beginning of the evening session on Sunday, August 11. Many former Team Canada players from Quebec who competed in the Billie Jean King Cup in the past will be in attendance to commemorate not only the 2023 title, but also all the work done in the past decades that led to this achievement.

Specific details regarding each stop will be confirmed in the coming weeks. That said, the trophy will follow this itinerary for the next few months (dates are subject to change):

  • April 19 – Montreal, QC (official launch)
  • May 8-12 – Vancouver, BC
  • May 14 – 16 – Calgary, AB
  • May 17 – 19 – Edmonton, AB
  • May 22 – 24 – Saskatoon, SK
  • May 26 – 30 – Winnipeg, MB
  • June 1 – 8 – Toronto, ON
  • June 12 – 16 – Halifax, NS
  • June 20 – 23 – Charlottetown, PE
  • June 25 – 30 – Moncton/Fredericton, NB
  • July 4 – August 7 – Ontario
  • August 9 – 31 – Montreal & Quebec

Following Friday’s launch, the trophy will be heading to Western Canada for the entire month of May, starting its journey in Vancouver. Vancouverite Rebecca Marino is also set to participate in an event at the Jericho Tennis Club on May 10.

At each stop, fans will have the opportunity to pose with the trophy for photos, and they are encouraged to share their experience on social media using the following hashtags: #BJKCChamps23 and #CoupeBJKChamps23.

More information about the Billie Jean King Cup Champions Tour is available on the Tennis Canada website.

The Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge is the women’s World Cup of Tennis. Previously known as the Fed Cup, it is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with a record 138 nations entered in 2024.

Read also: Everything You Need to Know about Tennis at the 2024 Paris Olympics

LAUNCH EVENTS IN MONTREAL

To officially unveil the Billie Jean King Cup Champions Tour, a first event was organized today at Montreal’s IGA Stadium, featuring several renowned tennis personalities in a panel discussion that touched many subjects, including the magnitude of winning the title, the efforts that led to it and what it means for future generations.

The panelists included

  • Aleksandra Wozniak, former WTA player with the most victories in Canadian Billie Jean King Cup history (40).
  • Marie-Ève Pelletier, former player who reached a world ranking of 106 in singles and 54 in doubles and now tennis analyst for TVA Sports.
  • Guillaume Marx, Vice President, High Performance at Tennis Canada.
  • Mirka Delaney, 14-year-old junior player from Quebec.
  • Valérie Tétreault, Vice President, Communications & Professional Events at Tennis Canada and Director of the National Bank Open in Montreal.
  • Team Canada’s Captain Heidi El Tabakh also made a virtual appearance and offered her perspective on the team’s sensational victory in Seville.

The Billie Jean King Cup trophy will also make an appearance in a suite at the Bell Centre on April 20 during the PWHL game between the Montreal and Toronto teams. During this event, which is expected to break the league’s attendance record and continue to set new heights for women’s sports, players from the Montreal team will take photos with Quebec female athletes who have been part of Team Canada in the past, namely Aleksandra Wozniak, Marie-Ève Pelletier, and Valérie Tétreault.

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