GSTAAD, March 11, 2016
From 9th to 17th July 2016 the Ladies Championship Gstaad will take place for the first time. With that, after an eight year break, an international women’s tennis tournament will take place in Switzerland. A long tradition comes back to Gstaad, during 66 years, women were already playing on the courts of Saanenland.
For more than 100 years, Gstaad welcomes one of the biggest sporting events of Switzerland, the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad. Grand Chelem Event, the current organizer of the ATP-Event returns women’s tennis to Sannenland and thus brings back to life a long tradition of the Gstaad tournament.
From 1917 to 1983 famous names of the women’s tennis world played in Gstaad like Margaret Smith Court, who holds the record of Grand Slam titles (24). Jeff Collet, the future director of the tournament says: “For 66 years the ladies played already against each other in the heart of the Bernese Alps. It’s a big honour for us to announce their return, after our 100 years anniversary of the men’s tournament last year! “
Albert Bach, president of the municipality of Saanen adds: „Gstaad and its region are very happy about this great news. Thanks to this new tournament, Saanenland can raise its attractiveness for visitors as a tourism destination in summer. “
Swiss Tennis, co-owner of the rights of the men’s tournament, is pleased about the additional use of the infrastructure that is put into place for the „Swiss Open Gstaad“: „It was obvious that Gstaad, with its long tradition of men and women’s tennis which lasted till 1983, organizes again a women’s tournament and I want to congratulate its director Jeff Collet for this great achievement.“ says René Stammbach, president of Swiss Tennis. „And we keep on working to support women’s tennis in Switzerland sustainably! “
The new clay-court tournament will take place from 9th to 17th July 2016, one week before the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, from 16th to 24th July 2016. During these two weeks, Gstaad will become the Swiss capital of tennis. The matches will be played in the same stadium. Additional infrastructures for the female players, who play for $226,750 prize money, will be provided.
Grand Chelem Event, specialist in event organization, will use its long experience to offer a new sports highlight to the Swiss public. The new tournament replaces the one that took place in Bad Gastein (Austria) and the change was officially confirmed by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today.