ECKENTAL, October 31, 2016
The Bauer Water Technology Cup is celebrating its 20th birthday at the House of Sports in Eckental this week, presenting a stunning line-up led by world number 52 and Halle champion Florian Mayer. The 33-year-old German entered the 32-man-main draw with a wild card, taking on Aldin Setkic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the opening round on Tuesday. Mayer eyes his 14th title on the ATP Challenger Tour and could clash with fellow German Tobias Kamke in a potential quarterfinal match-up.
Second seed at the €35,000 ATP Challenger event is Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who captured his maiden title at this level in St. Remy earlier this season. The 20-year-old will face Ilya Ivashka from Belarus. German veteran Benjamin Becker was actually seeded third but was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a hip injury and will be replaced by his compatriot Kevin Krawietz. Fourth favourite Andrej Martin of Slovakia will open his Eckental campaign against wild card Matthias Bachinger from Germany.
The winner of this encounter will take on Mohamed Safwat. The world number 2014 from Egypt edged past Frenchman Albano Olivetti in the lone first round match on Monday evening, winning 7-6, 6-2. Safwat withstood 13 aces, firing 12 of his own and saved all of the three break points he faced to secure victory in one hour and 20 minutes.
Eckental Tournament Milestones
|1992||The inaugural tournament in Eckental has a prize money of DM5,ooo|
|Until 1996||The event increases to a tournament with one of the largest amounts of prize money in Germany with female, male and youth competitors. The total budget was DM150,000|
|1997||The OKAL-CUP was added to the worldwide ATP-TOUR with total prize money of US-$ 50,000|
|2001 and 2002||The tournament was voted by players and officials on position 15, out of the 140 Challenger tournaments|
|2004||€1.4 million were invested in the tennis venue. Since then the popularity by players, sponsors and visitors increases clearly|
|2005||Bauer Watertechnology became new title sponsor|
|2006||The tournament celebrates its 10th anniversary|
|2007||Davis-Cup players Rainer Schüttler and Alexander Waske played to Eckental|
|2008||Dennis Gremelmeyr has become the first and only player so far to capture a second title in Eckental|
|2009||The “Jamaican” year at the House of Sports with Dustin Brown appearing|
|2010||The tournament celebrates its best “Cut Off” and the strongest doubles competition in the history of the ATP tournament.|
|2011||15 years in Eckental with Rajeev Ram as the tournament’s champion|
|2015||Former top 10 player Mikhail Youzhny with comeback win|
|2016||…to be continued…|