STUTTGART, June 12, 2016
The organizers of the 38th edition of the Mercedes Cup met the media for the traditional final news conference on Sunday morning.
Despite the unmistakable rainfall in the background, tournament director Edwin Weindorfer was in good mood, being pleased with the week here in Stuttgart.
“We hope to finish with the event today, looking for a “window of opportunity” to play the finals. It could be the case that we play the doubles and singles final at the same time. If rain stops, it will take about 30 to 40 minutes in order to get the courts ready for the match,” Weindorfer explained.
“The tournament was sold out from Thursday to Sunday with about 58,000 people attending the event during the week. This also includes the ground tickets,” the CEO of emotions sports added. This represents the highest number of the spectators in the tournament’s history.
“It is the second year that this three week grass court swing has been created in the ATP calendar. It’s been a big success to play on grass here in Stuttgart. The fans come out, having a full house during the final weekend with terrific spectators. The atmosphere around the grounds is also outstanding,” ATP supervisor Mark Darby said.
The entry list for the ATP 250 grass court event was remarkable.
“There was a mix of veterans and young players. Three US-Open champions came to Stuttgart. There are not too many 250 events, which can put that on their resume. We got new players like Dominic Thiem and Taylor Fritz. Of course, having Roger here is great,” the US-American added.
Federer will return to the Mercedes Cup in 2017 due to a two-year-contract with the tournament. If he is joined by another top star, will be uncertain.
“We are currently not undertaking any talks with Novak Djokovic. Our focus will remain on Roger,” Weindorfer is facing the rumour about the number one coming to Stuttgart next year.
“However, what is going to happen in 2018 or 2019, we do not know. I still hope that Novak will play here within the next five years. Yet, it is not possible for us to present all the top guys here in the same year. Unfortunately, our budget will not be sufficient to deal with that.”
From a German perspective, there was maybe only one big name missing at the 100th edition of a tennis tournament, taking place at the venue of the Tennis Club Weissenhof this year.
“We submitted a fair offer to Alexander Zverev, but unfortunately it didn’t work out this year. We hope to see him here in 2017, maybe then as a top 20 or even top 10-player,” Weindorfer said about the most promising German player, who is currently ranked on 38th postition.
With Federer returning next year, the Mercedes Cup will remain an attractive tournament for players to kick-off the grass court season 2017.
“It will remain our goal to be an international event, which is impotant to finance the tournament, but we also try to create a familiar atmosphere. Roger seemed to enjoy the week here. Before he left, he had told me, that it was an “awesome week” for him!”