Federer Takes Singles, Begemann & Knowle The Doubles. Gerry Weber Open 2014 - The Curtain Comes Down - UBITENNIS
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Federer Takes Singles, Begemann & Knowle The Doubles. Gerry Weber Open 2014 – The Curtain Comes Down

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TENNIS GERRY WEBER OPEN – Roger Federer won the Gerry Weber Open Singles final. Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria captured the Doubles, and Tournament Director, Ralf Weber kicked off the day summarizing the 2014 event and talked about the 2015 expectations when Halle becomes an ATP 500…From Halle, Mark Winters

 

A set routine is always followed on the final Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany. It has been the same for the twenty-two years that the tournament has been held. Several hours before Roger Federer defeated Alejandro Falla of Columbia 7-6, 7-6 to earn his seventh title, dapper Tournament Director, Ralf Weber addresses the media. At these gatherings, he discusses the event that is about to conclude as well as some of the plans for the next championships (and the “progress” that will be made is always part of the Ralf Weber “Performa”).

Not only does he organize the Halle tennis operation, as if he was a symphony orchestra conductor, Weber appreciates the way professional tennis is played along with its captivating moments. He noted, “The Tie-Break that decided the Dustin Brown and Philipp Kohlschreiber match was electrifying and is one which none of us will ever forget.” He also enjoyed the performances of international stars, such as Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils, as well as the German professionals who participated.

“They always tend to be able to get the best tennis out of themselves here at the Gerry Weber Open,” he said. “That is facilitated also by the way the venue is set up with the players always a short walk (during the tournament they stay at the Sportparkhotel) from everything. The concept of an oasis of well-being is spot on here.”

Weber was particularly pleased with Roger Federer reaching his ninth final saying, “He’s simply phenomenal”, as well as the performances of German wildcards, Peter Gojowczyk and Brown. As for Rafael Nadal, who lost to Brown, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round after receiving a first round Bye, Weber said: “It’s always saddening when the top seed goes out after the first match, and it is a bit disappointing too, but he came up against an opponent who rose above himself. Next year, there will be a full week between the end of the Roland Garros (French Open) and the start of the Gerry Weber Open and that will make the conditions more balanced and fairer for all of the players.”

Weber mentioned that ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode visited Halle for the first time and told the Tournament Director that the experience was an “eye-opener.” Weber added, “He was hugely impressed and said it was an inspiration for how to stage a modern tennis event. By that, he meant what we offer above and beyond just tennis matches.”

As an aside, Weber called attention to the fact that television audiences were provided with exceptional coverage by Eurosport and the viewing numbers were similar to those realized in 2013.

The Gerry Weber Open mantra could be “Tennis for the people.” The Webers have always evidenced awareness and concern for, as Ralf said, “Helping people who may lead their lives in the shade of others.” He continued, “The social involvement of the tournament is an indispensable part of this event, and much more than merely fulfilling a duty.”

Over the years, the tournament has received accolades from the ATP and the tennis community for reaching out to the local community. Weber said of the effort, “It is an inspiration to go about this wonderful work with even greater dedication. Our players are also right behind these activities – they visit critically-ill children or handicapped people, gifting them with moments of joy and happiness.”

The close cooperation with Federer, in this regard, was also praised. “For ten years, the Gerry Weber Open has been supporting the work of the Roger Federer Foundation with another donation handed over to the Swiss player this year. At the start of the tournament, Federer paid the Bodelschwinghschen Foundation in Bielefeld a second memorable visit. Over all, the sum of donations to charitable organizations, in the tournament’s history, has now reached 1,243,772 Euros.”

The Weber tournament marketing magic continued as he admitted, “We managed to sell all the 80 VIP boxes we could sell, and 7,000 VIP tickets changed hands. We gained new global brands as sponsors. Recently, even Microsoft and EBay became involved. Furthermore, partnerships with Melitta, Dr. Oetker, Storck, Schüco and Mercedes-Benz continue to grow.”

Those celebrating Jubilee anniversaries of working more than ten years with the Gerry Weber Open were honored before the Men's Singles final. Photo GERRY WEBER OPEN

Those celebrating Jubilee anniversaries of working more than ten years with the Gerry Weber Open were honored before the Men’s Singles final. Photo GERRY WEBER OPEN

In 2015, the Gerry Weber Open will be a week later on the tennis calendar (meaning two weeks after Roland Garros) and more importantly, it will become an ATP World Tour 500 series event. Weber said: “We’re very confident dealing with this challenge. We’re planning to expand the facilities here, including a park for families and children. We’re already in talks with sports article manufacturers and sports associations.

Another project, in the pipeline, is the modernization and improvements to Court 1, which will be made fully accessible to television cameras. It should also receive Hawkeye technology. The capacity will be increased by 1,000, and Court 2 will increase its seating by 600-700 places.
“Even more world-class players will be invited to participate, but costs will be kept under control. With an extra million dollars in prize money, which we are going to have to put up, we have got to have enter into serious negotiations about appearance fees. I’m sure that we will have an even stronger field next year. The tournament is going to receive even more international recognition, even if it is only by the fact it will be broadcast in 120 countries.

Furthermore, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki is going to take part in the 2015 Champions Trophy (an exhibition match played in the Gerry Weber Stadion on the Sunday before the tournament begins). Last year’s Wimbledon finalist has spent the past few days training in Halle.”
Weber concluded saying, “The 22nd Gerry Weber Open was fantastic, thrilling experience for the spectators. The atmosphere, all over the venue, was fantastic from the first to the last minute. I was really able to see the pleasure many visitors were having – pleasure in this great sport and great entertainment. Indeed, the number of spectators was exceptional with around 50,000 passing through the gates over the Whitsun weekend (Pentecost) alone. Including Sunday’s finals day, 110,700 will have paid a visit of the tournament, which is a new record. Having famous German celebrities such as Tim Bendzko, Christina Stürmer, Milow, Marlon Roudette, VoXXclub and Rea Garvey all appeared. This is just a free extra that we like to give to the spectators and it is something that nobody else provides. This is done in order to facilitate things for the fans next year, and tickets will go on sale even earlier, starting this September.”
(Federer, who was looking to duplicate his 2005 Gerry Weber Open double win came up short with Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, losing in a dramatic doubles final to Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria, 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (12-10).)

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Dominic Thiem rallies from one set down against Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final at Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem came back from losing the first set to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 en route to reaching the final at the Thiem’s 7 tournament. Thiem earned two breaks in the third and fifth games to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bautista Agut got both breaks back in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Spanish player won the tie-break 7-5 to take the opening set.

 

Thiem slowly found his rhythm again in the second set and earned two break points in the fourth game but he was not able to convert them. The home star dropped only two points on his serve until the end of the second set and converted two of the three break points to clinch the second set 6-2.

Thiem earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and held on his next service games. The tournament organizer sealed the third set 6-2 with his double break with a blistering return on the match point in the eighth game securing his spot in the final. Thiem will face either Andrey Rublev or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

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The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

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