MUNICH, May 11, 2017
Only four days after the end of the BMW Open by FWU in Munich a new international tennis tournament in Bavaria has been launched. The Bavarian Tennis Federation (BTV) announced Thursday at the TennisBase Oberhaching enhancements to the ATP Challenger indoor swing in Germany this autumn.
The BTV will organize the WOLFFKRAN Open held at the Sportpark Ismaning from 14 to 22 October 2017. The tournament will feature a 32-draw singles event and a 16-draw doubles event, with total prize money of €43,000.
“The total financial commitment will be about €100,000 to €150,000,” explained Peter Aurnhammer, vice-president of the BTV and the event’s designated tournament director. “For the last two years we had organized an ITF combined event in Ismaning but it was not subject of great interest neither for the public nor for the media.” The champion of the new tournament will take away €6,190 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.
To overcome the financial hurdle in order to upgrade the event, the federation has started a three-year-co-operation with crane construction company WOLFFKRAN. With a rental fleet of approximately 700 tower cranes WOLFFKRAN is among the major providers in this area of business. The company with about 800 employees worldwide is headquartered in Switzerland but also has one branch office in Munich, putting the sponsoring commitment into a local context.
“We are very pleased with this new co-operation. We recognized early that we have similar objectives,” Helmut Schmidbauer, president of the BTV told.
The inaugural edition of the WOLFFKRAN Open will be part of a three-week indoor swing, starting with the Dittelbrunn Open in Hambach. The $15,000 ITF Pro Cirucit will be followed by the $15,000 Futures Daikin Open in Oberhaching and the WOLFFKRAN Open. After one week off the series will end with the Bauer Watertechnology Cup, an ATP Challenger held at the House of Sports in Eckental.
“In the future we would like to fill the gap as well,” Schmidbauer told but added that this is not going to happen this year but maybe in 2018.
WOLFFKRAN Open – Held On Carpet
The venue of the Tennis Club Ismaning provides six indoor courts but there was only one problem with the surface. “We are going to play on carpet,” Auernhammer revealed. “The ATP sets high requirements in order to execute a tournament like this and this fact became a debatable term. In the end, however, we got the go-ahaed in March this year.”
The WOLFFKRAN Open will be the only ATP Challenger event held on European soil during this week. This might had helped the organizers to convince the ATP, which normally does not favour this type of surface. In recent years a couple of tournaments held on carpet have been urged by the men’s international tennis body to switch their surface to hard courts.
“Our centre court will have a seating capacity of about 800 places and we would like to welcome more than 5,000 spectators during the nine days of tennis action,” Auernhammer stated and added that side events will also be part of the entertainment. A ticket for the entire week will be priced at about €60 to €70. A day ticket will be sold for approximately €20. “The admission fee should be affordable for everyone,” the BTV vice-president said.
Of course it is still to early to talk about player commitments but one player is omnipresent at the tournament’s official poster: Dustin Brown.
“We spoke with Dustin and he told us that he would like to enter the main draw of the ATP 250 Stockholm Open taking place the same week. But he added that if his ranking does not allow him to play in Sweden, he will come to Ismaning,” Schmidbauer said.
For sure local players will play a central role when it comes down to players competing in the event. Daniel Masur, currently ranked on a career World No. 208 is a member of the TennisBase Oberhaching and is looking forward to the WOLFFKRAN Open.
“It’s always great to play in front of your home crowd getting a lot of support during the matches. I enjoyed it a lot during the BMW Open last week in Munich. It is also very nice and comfortable to play tournaments in Germany without having to travel long distances,” the 22-year-old told. He is going to compete in the qualifying to Heilbronn’s NeckarCup next weekend.
Only seven ATP Challengers are going to take place in Germany this year. The country with the largest national tennis federation in the world continues to lag behind other nations in terms of organizing tournaments at lower level. With the Franken Challenge in Fürth, one of the most traditional ones worldwide, had to announce the cancellation of its 2017 edition due to lack of financial ressources.
“That really hurts,” Schmidbauer said. “We are in touch with the organizers in Fürth as well as a couple of sponsors. We are confident to put the tournament back on the ATP Challenger calendar in 2018.”
To establish an indoor swing featuring four successive weeks of international tennis competition in Bavaria can only be considered as a step into the right direction.