Stuttgart Outlines 2015 Grass Switch Plan
by ATP Staff|
Construction of grass courts at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart will begin immediately after the conclusion of this year’s ATP World Tour 250 tournament, which takes place from 6-14 July.
Last month, the ATP Board of Directors approved the MercedesCup’s request to move to a grass court event taking place the week following Roland Garros in the lead up to Wimbledon beginning in 2015.
"The future starts now!" said Edwin Weindorfer, the MercedesCup Tournament Director, at a press conference in Stuttgart City Hall, on Monday. "The switch to grass courts opens many interesting perspectives for the MercedesCup and starts a new era of the tournament."
Court No. 18 at the Weissenhof Tennis Club will become the first of five clay courts that will be converted to grass, under the supervision of the groundstaff from the All England Club, Wimbledon. The court will be ready for the 2014 tournament, when an exhibition match will be held.
Centre Court, ENBW Court and Court No. 12 and No. 13 will be converted to grass courts after the end of the 2014 tournament.
Tommy Haas, who will compete at this year’s MercedesCup, said, "It's fantastic that Germany will host two grass court tournaments with Stuttgart and Halle from 2015. This will offer the world's best tennis players ideal opportunities to prepare for Wimbledon. It is definitely a goal of mine to play on grass at the MercedesCup in two years."
In 2015, the MercedesCup will join the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club, the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, the AEGON International in Eastbourne, the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport as an ATP World Tour grass court tournament.
The first edition of the tournament in Stuttgart was held in 1898, with Mercedes-Benz assuming the role of title sponsor from 1979.