VIENNA, June 24, 2015
In April this year, the organizers of the ATP tournament in Vienna announced, that the event has been promoted to the 500-series and is now officially named as Erste Bank Open 500.
“It was our goal to get to this new and higher level for our tournament. After six months of hard work, we have eventually achieved this aim, which represents an important upgrade for the Erste Bank Open,” tournament director Herwig Straka told on Wednesday in Vienna.
The total prize money increased by about € 600,000 to 2,324 million Euro. The winner will take away € 423,000 as well as 500 ATP ranking points. Of course, the tournament taking place from October 17 to 25, will be more attractive to the players on the tour.
“It will be our goal to present one of the world’s four most popular players every year. Those players are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal,” said Straka. “This year’s edition, however, has to be regarded in a special way, as we have only found out in April that the tournament will be upgraded.”
Nonetheless, Straka will seek to sign with Roger Federer this year, who captured the title in Vienna in 2002 and 2003. “2015 could be the last chance to present Federer in Vienna, as from 2016 on the Erste Bank Open 500 will probably take place at the same time with the Swiss’ home tournament in Basel. Roger has already been informed about our interest but he still wants to await the season’s progression. Apart from that, we are confident to present three top 10-players in October,” the organizer added.
Austria’s local hero and the country’s number one Dominic Thiem has already announced to play in Vienna this year. “The tournament’s upgrade is absolutely brilliant. An ATP 500-event suits perfectly to the cosmopolitan city of Vienna. You really have to congratulate the organizers for their great work. The Stadthalle in Vienna offers perfect conditions for players as well as for spectators. I always felt comfortable playing here and of course I will try to be as successful as possible again,” told Thiem, who is aware of the fact that he will face even stronger opponents than in the past.