BERLIN, July 17, 2020
In times of intense competition, event organizers are looking for unique selling points in terms of unusual locations. By hosting the second leg of the bett1ACES tennis exhibition inside the Hangar 6 of Berlin’s former international airport Tempelhof, Austria’s e-motion Group has definitely scored a coup.
85 years of air traffic
Airport activity in Tempelhof began in earnest on 8th October 1923 with the establishment of regular flights between Berlin and Königsberg. In the 1920s new hangars and a passenger-handling building were built. By 1930 Tempelhof was processing more passengers than any other airport in Europe. It acquired a further iconic status as the centre of the Berlin Airlift of 1948–49.
In line with the Four-Power administration of Berlin during the years of German division flights into and out of Berlin were restricted to Allied airlines. As Tempelhof could not be enlarged to accommodate bigger jets, civil air traffic switched to Tegel in 1975. Not until after 1990 was there a resurgence of passenger activity at Tempelhof, with increasing numbers of business travelers preferring the proximity of the city.
Situated in the south-central Berlin borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, the airport ceased operating in 2008, leaving Tegel and Schönefeld as the two main airports serving the city, with the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport still under construction.
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) July 17, 2020
Tennis at Tempelhof
Today, the site, with a total area of four million square meters, is used for sightseeing tours inside the heritage-protected airport building, as film and television setting and for fairs, festivals, concerts and other events. So this weekend the focus is also on tennis.
A Douglas DC-4 has been decoratively placed in front of the imposing gate to Hangar 6. In the interior, which was previously used for the maintenance and overhaul of aircraft, you can find the court, lined only for singles. Matches are played on a Rebound Ace surface. There are no line judges. Calls are made by a computer voice.
Sinner, Haas advance to semi-finals
Conditions similar to the Next-Gen-ATP Finals in Milan. Last year’s winner of this event in Italy was also successful in the opening match on Friday. Jannik Sinner defeated Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3, 7-6 .
“I like playing indoors and the view is fantastic,” Sinner said during his post-match on-court interview. The 18-year-old from South Tyrol will take on No. 2 Roberto Bautista Agut in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Fourty-two-year-old former World No. 2 Tommy Haas upset Jan-Lennard Struff, winning the all-German affair 7-6, 7-6.
“I was able to play without any pressure. It was a close match in which only a few points make the difference and I played them well today,” said Haas, who is looking forward to a first meeting with top seed and Grunewald champion Dominic Thiem.
“I’m a big fan of his game, especially his backhand. If the one-handed backhand boys are re-united, he will definitely be part of it. Now it is time to reload the batteries in order to fight the best possible way tomorrow.”
Svitolina wins delayed women’s final
Earlier in the day, Elina Svitolina won the women’s final, which was supposed to be held at the Steffi-Graf-Stadion on Wednesday. The 25-year-old from the Ukraine fought past Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-1, 10-5.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) July 17, 2020
“I expected a tough match,” Svitolina said. “Petra is striking the ball very big. I had to adapt my game a little bit and I am very happy with the match today.
In the women’s quarterfinals Andrea Petkovic beat 18-year-old fellow German Alexandra Vecic 6-2, 6-3 to meet Kvitova next. In the last match of the day, Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia edged past Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands 6-1, 6-4. Up next will be top seed Svitolina.