Move over KISS Army, there’s a new regiment on the march: the Genie Army. What began as an homage to Montreal tennis star Eugenie Bouchard by a dozen-or-so young men at the Australian Open in Melbourne earlier this year has turned into a movement with Genie Armies forming in Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. And this original Aussie outfit of diehard fans is so dedicated to the number 7 ranked talent that they’ll be invading Montreal’s island shores to support Bouchard at the 2014 edition of the Women’s Rogers Cup tennis tournament…
This year taking place from August 1-10, at women’s champions have included Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Montreal and Toronto share hosting duties, with the men’s and women’s tourneys alternating between the cities each year. Competing with Bouchard in Montreal at this edition will be circuit A-listers such as Serena Williams, Aleksandra Wozniak and Maria Sharapova.
In fact, for the first time, “Ultimate Fan” sections have been created court-side for each of the four aforementioned tennis stars. Attendees have the option to purchase Ultimate Fan ticket packages for Bouchard (#GenieArmy), Sharapova (#SharaFamily), Wozniak (#TeamAWoz) or Serena Williams (#RenasArmy) which not only provide a ticket for designated seating on Centre Court for their opening matches, but also comes with a 50 percent rebate on a future ticket, a gift bag and several souvenir items. Bouchard loyalists will be disappointed, if not surprised, to find that her Ultimate Fan packages have already sold out.
And if you happen to be travelling with any little racket smashers, do take note that Tennis Canada (fun fact: all profits from the Rogers Cup are earmarked for developing tennis in Canada), as part of their ongoing initiative to make tennis more accessible to children, have organized a kids’ tennis day. On the final Sunday of the tournament, Aug. 10, children between the ages of 5 and 12 will be invited onto the courts to play from 10 a.m. until noon hour. Equipment will be provided by Tennis Quebec and Tennis Montreal, there will be a special menu for the occasion, and kids and their families will be invited to remain on-site to watch the Rogers Cup final – which with luck will feature hometown hero Bouchard – on a big screen starting at 1 pm.
The Women’s Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium, Montreal, Aug. 1-10
Photo credits : Danièle Francis and Coupe Rogers présentée par Banque Nationale
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