VIENNA, April 29, 2015
Rumours came up in autumn last year concerning a possible category-switch between the ATP 500 Valencia Open and the ATP 250 Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
On Wednesday, the organizers of the Austrian tournament confirmed the promotion of their event to the next level. Surprisingly, the change is taking place immediately with the Erste Bank Open operating this year from October 17 to 25, then officially with an ATP 500-status. The calendar remains unchanged with the Valencia Open following the next week as an ATP 250 event.
“We have been working hard for this and it worked out that we have been able to valorise the Erste Bank Open. We will reach new dimensions with the tournament taking place at Vienna’s Stadthalle. Today, we are very happy that we could make this historical step. From tomorrow on, our work will continue, as it is our aim to organize a perfect tournament on ATP 500-level and we want to point our directions in this direction,” tournament director Herwig Straka told.
Prize money in Vienna will be increased from almost 600.000 to about 2,4 million euros. “Therewith, the Erste Bank Open is the sports event with the highest prize money in Austria,” explained Straka. The tournament has also become the fifth-biggest ATP event in Europe after the Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid, Monte Carlo, Rome and Paris. Barcelona, Basel, Halle, Hamburg, London-Queen’s and Rotterdam are of the same category. Of course, the players will also receive double the amount of points this year and consequently the tournament will be more attractive for the top-players.
The Valencia Open, who seemed to have financial problems due to lack of sponsors, will continue taking place in its existing week, as an ATP World Tour 250 event alongside the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, tournament director of the Spanish event, said: “Our objective now is to organize the best Open 250 at the same unique venue at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias thanks to our agreement with the Government of Valencia.”