HAMBURG, April 22, 2021
For the first time in 19 years, the WTA Tour will return to the heart of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The women’s tournament will be held right before the start of the men’s event. On the women’s final weekend (July 10th and 11th), the men’s qualifying event will take place at the same time. The main draw of the ATP Tour tournament competition will be played from July 12th to 18th. The tournament name “Hamburg European Open” will include both the ATP and the WTA event.
“In my point of view, a joint event for both men and women is the best product within the tennis sport. In this regard, Hamburg is now, again, unique in the German tennis landscape,” tournament director Sandra Reichel said on Thursday. The last back-to-back tournament in Hamburg took place in 1999. The last women’s event at the Rothenbaum was won by Kim Clijsters from Belgium in 2002.
“We are pleased that we were able to find our desired date for the women together with our partners,” emphasized Sandra Reichel. The women’s qualification begins on July 5th behind closed doors in order not to exceed the official requirements for the maximum number of event days allowed at the venue. Sandra Reichel thanked the Ministry of the Interior and Sports of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the German Tennis Federation (DTB), sports patron Alexander Otto and the local Club an der Alster for the “trusting partnership”.
Steve Simon: Hamburg will serve as an elite destination to showcase WTA athletes
There were also intense discussions between the Reichel family and those responsible for the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. After all, Hamburg’s WTA tournament is scheduled for the second week of the Championships in London. “We got the green light from all parties. The tennis world is pleased that the traditional location of Hamburg is back on the women’s tennis calendar,” organizer Peter-Michael Reichel said. “Steve Simon, CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), stated: “We are very excited for Hamburg to return to the WTA calendar. With a rich tennis history dating back many years and now staging the 2021 event in the modernized Rothenbaum Stadium, Hamburg will serve as an elite destination to showcase WTA athletes and their amazing talents. We are looking forward to this year’s tournament and continuing the tradition of women’s professional tennis in Hamburg.”
The Reichel Group has been organizing the ATP 500 men’s tournament in the Hanseatic city since 2019. They took over the tournament license for an event of the WTA 250 series that was one-time held in July 2019 in Jurmala, Latvia, under the name “Baltic Open”. “We want to present as many German players as possible,” said Sandra Reichel. “The goal is of course that we prepare a stage for as many young talents as possible. The Club an der Alster currently has three players who are part of the DTB’s Porsche Junior Teams. That’s very exciting!”
“Safety first” still applies for this year’s edition
In view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of everyone involved is also the focus of the Hamburg European Open 2021. “The motto ‘safety first’ still applies. We are continuously in talks with Hamburg’s Sports Office and the health authority. As we did last year, we will react flexibly to the situation. One thing is clear: We will only start selling tickets when we have more planning security in this regard,” Sandra Reichel stated. Together with her team, she is preparing for all kinds of scenarios. One of the concepts includes, for example, a lane for rapid Covid testing for the spectators.
Statements from our partners:
Andy Grote, Sports Senator of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg:
“Hamburg is back on the stage of international women’s tennis after almost 20 years. After the successful restart of the Rothenbaum tournament in 2019, the modernization of the venue and hosting the men’s event with spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic last year, this will mark the tournament’s next milestone. Congratulations to Sandra Reichel, who, especially after the successful implementation under difficult conditions last year, will also make the women’s event a success for Hamburg.”
Dietloff von Arnim, President of the German Tennis Federation (DTB):
“After Stuttgart, Bad Homburg, Berlin, Cologne and Karlsruhe, having another WTA event in Germany is a positive signal for our tournament landscape. We are happy that we joined forces in Hamburg to find a way and that Sandra and Peter-Michael Reichel in particular have shown the courage to start a new tournament in these difficult times. The traditional Club an der Alster with its beautifully modernized stadium can look forward to twelve days of top-level women’s and men’s tennis.”
Alexander Otto, entrepreneur and patron:
“With the return of the women’s tennis tournament to the Rothenbaum, Hamburg is increasingly gaining a tennis profile around the world and a touch of Grand Slam is emerging. After the top-class men’s tournament last year, this is again a great message for this year. I am delighted that with the modernization of the tennis facility we have been able to lay the foundation for world-class tennis. My thank you goes to the Reichel family, who does a fantastic job in Hamburg,”
Dr. Carsten Lütten (1st chairman of the Club an der Alster):
“As the owner of the facility, we are pleased to make another contribution to top-class sport in Hamburg. I am also pleased that we were able to reduce the overall impairment for our members through optimizing our logistics despite having twelve event days this year. A special highlight for the club will of course be the participation of our own top athletes.”