HAMBURG, July 20, 2015
Rafael Nadal will return to Germany for the ATP 500 bet-at-home Open in Hamburg, taking place from July 26 to August 2.
“We made it, Nadal will come,” tournament director Michael Stich was happy to announce on Monday morning. “There are only three players in the world, who sell tickets: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic,” Stich added. Federer played in Hamburg in 2013 and Nadal will return to the Hanseatic City for the first time since winning the title against the Swiss in 2008. Back then, the tournament was still part of the ATP Masters 1000 series.
Since the tournament has been downgraded to the ATP 500-level, Stich had to set the financial conditions in order to get Nadal’s commitment. According to estimates, Nadal will receive € 500,000 for his return. Of course, Stich did not confirm these numbers. “We are running a risk with this decision, but we did it with a sense of proportion,” the former Wimbledon champion explained and mentioned that the main sponsor played an important role supporting this transaction.
Yet, it wasn’t only about financial aspects. Nadal also asked for a main draw wild card for his fellow countryman and only 18-year-old Jaume Munar. The current world number 683 and runner-up at the French Open junior’s event in 2014 will join Nadal in Hamburg. “If this helps to get Rafa to Hamburg, we will do it,” told Stich and added that otherwise the wild card would have gone to Jan-Lennard Struff, who now has to battle through the qualifying.
Hamburg’s top-seed will be David Ferrer, but the 33-year-old from Jávea is currently suffering from an elbow injury and had to withdraw from Spain’s Davis Cup relegation tie against Russia last weekend. His start “Am Rothenbaum” is uncertain.
Tommy Haas will not come to Hamburg. The German veteran played on grass in Newport last week and will continue on the US-swing in order to prepare for the year’s final major in New York. “I was in touch with Tommy all the time. I would have loved to see him in Hamburg but returning to the clay would not make a lot of sense to him,” Stich stated.
The tournament director himself will open this year’s edition next Saturday when Stich will face Goran Ivanisevic for a show match on centre court.