ATP moves to veto Hamburg Open revamp
The ATP, the organiser of the top men’s professional tennis tour, has vetoed the revamp of the ATP Tour 500 event in Hamburg, which was set to be known as the Hamburg Open European Championships from this year under an agreement between the organisers and Tennis Europe, the sport's continental governing body.
Earlier this year, a buoyant Tennis Europe agreed to grant the right for the tournament in Hamburg to crown an ‘Open European Champion’, the first time such an award would be made to a professional player.
However, after a meeting between the ATP, Tennis Europe and the event organisers, it was agreed that the tournament at the Rothenbaum Tennis Centre will continue in its current capacity with the name of the Hamburg European Open.
The ATP opposed the revamp as, according to reports, it believes the event is not big enough and it would not make sense for the winner to be crowned a European Champion when there are more prestigious clay-court tournaments on the continent.
The Hamburg Open is not among the elite ATP Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.
The Hamburg Open offers prize money of just under €2 million ($2.2 million), with the winner earning 500 ranking points, while there is up to €6 million on offer at the Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome, the three biggest clay-court tournaments on the tour, at which the winner gets 1000 points.
It is believed that the organisers of the three other events were among those to have expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed revamped format for the Hamburg Open.
Peter-Michael Reichel, the senior tournament organiser, told DPA: "These were constructive discussions, the ATP understood that we want to upgrade the Rothenbaum and promised us their support. We can live well with the new solution."
The tournament organisers were hoping to stage both ATP and women's WTA tournaments in 2020, which would have allowed for Open European Champions to be crowned on both professional tours.
This year's Hamburg Open, one of 13 ATP Tour 500 events, takes place form 22 to 28 July.
Meanwhile, the US Tennis Association, organiser of the US Open, has entered into a multi-year partnership with IHG Hotels and Resorts to become the official hotel and hotel loyalty partner for the grand slam tournament in New York.
The agreement, which begins with the 2019 US Open, will also include sponsorship of the Cincinnati Masters, an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event and part of the US Open Series.
This year’s US Open takes place from 26 August to 8 September.