All eyes on Montreal as city gears up to host 2019 Rogers Cup

All eyes are on Montreal as some of the biggest and brightest tennis stars descend on the city for the Rogers Cup Tournament
WATCH NOW: Tennis lovers came out in droves to catch a glimpse of men's tennis royalty on Friday. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, some of the best tennis players from around the world are in town for the Rogers Cup.

Some of the best male players in the world will be competing at the upcoming Rogers Cup, and fans attended in large numbers to catch a glimpse of their favourites as they arrived for practice on Friday.

“Pretty cool to see some of the greatest playing in Montreal,” said tennis fan Lionel Tamoki.

Tennis veterans, such as four-time champion and former number one Rafael Nadal, will be competing in this years Roger’s Cup along with some of the sport’s fastest-rising stars.

READ MORE: Plans for retractable roof at IGA Stadium in Montreal generating debate

Amongst the most anticipated will be 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov and local favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Fans will also get the chance to watch the world ranked number five, 22 year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany, compete against the world’s greatest.

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Two of the biggest names in tennis, Roger Federer, the all-time Grand Slam leader, and the world number one Novak Djokovic will be absent from this year’s tournament.

READ MORE: Retractable roof could be coming to Rogers Cup

“For the biggest fans it’s sad,” said Tomoki.

The Rogers Cup is an ATP Master 1000 Tournament, making it one of the largest events outside of the Grand Slams.

More than $4 million is awarded in prize money. The winner receives the lion’s share — more than $1 million.

Montreal currently holds the world attendance record of 216,000 people set in 2017 for a one-week men’s only event.

READ MORE: Roger Federer announces he will skip Rogers Cup in Montreal

According to Rogers Cup Tournament Director Eugene Lapierre, the 2019 Rogers Cup attendance is looking promising, especially with the young Canadian players competing.

“There is a buzz in town and it’s around our own players playing in the Rogers Cup this year,” said Lapierre.  “We’re ahead of the game compared to our best year ever. So we’re hoping to announce a new record for the Montreal event.”

The event continues through August 11.

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With files from Tim Sargeant

WATCH: (August 9, 2018) Rogers Cup organizers mull upgrades to Montreal’s IGA stadium

Rogers Cup organizers mull upgrades to Montreal’s IGA stadium
Rogers Cup organizers mull upgrades to Montreal’s IGA stadium