Tournament Director Ralf Weber’s “State Of Halle” Discussion - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Tournament Director Ralf Weber’s “State Of Halle” Discussion

Avatar

Published

on

By Mark Winters

 

One of Tournament Director Ralf Weber’s responsibilities is to discuss the ‘State of Halle’ as the Gerry Weber Open concludes. Always candid, he provided insight about why the 24th championship was such a success.

Halle, Westfalia, Germany – It is all part of bringing the curtain down on another championship. Tournament Director, Ralf Weber has handled the task forever or so it seems. The Gerry Weber Open, the ATP 500 event took place in the German countryside in the town of Halle between June 13th and June 19th. As play concluded, the candid Weber talked about the highlights of the tournament’s 24th year.

He began his “State of Halle” press conference, noting that the poor “weather conditions” did little to dim the mood of the spectators and the players. This year’s attendance was roughly 110,000, which given the daily rain, was impressive. Even more significant, since it began in 1993, almost 2.5 million people have passed through the gates of the lush facility that features deep hues of green and purple decorating the booths and signage found on the grounds.

Ticket sales tell a story and according to Weber, 2016 was an award winning narrative. All the box seats and the revolving banners, featuring company advertising on center court, were sold almost before the accountants could reach for the sales ledger. Television coverage, bolstered by the combined involvement of ZDF and Eurosport, was the best ever. In addition, “The tournament could be seen on free TV.”

Combined with the written coverage, the Gerry Weber Open is becoming “a significant global brand.” Weber added, “There are now broadcasts in 140 countries and reports from almost 400 journalists from around the world. Even the social networks reached up to 25 million people a day, and the online site listed hundreds of thousands of hits during the tournament week.”

As important as the “fan feel” Gerry Weber, the tournament owner, and Ralf, his son, have created, the players are really the key. They draw attention to and are the reason spectators purchase tickets. A glance at the singles draw proves the point. There was a fashionable mix (and, of course, Gerry Weber is a clothing manufacturing titan) of youngsters on the way up such as Borna Coric of Croatia and Taylor Fritz of US, and already established competitors like David Ferrer of Spain, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Viktor Troicki of Serbia. Dominic Theim of Austria was part of this group and so was Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Playing at home, the German contingent was strong including qualifier Benjamin Becker, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer, who was playing with a Protected Ranking (PR), (and ended up winning the title).

When it comes to ideal, the semifinal between the “Super Talent” (as Weber called him) Alexander Zverev of Germany and Roger Federer was perfect. As readers known, the youngster triumphed 7-6, 5-7, 6-3, but Federer remains storied in Halle. As Weber said, “He is the leading figure in the history of the tournament. He is the face of the Gerry Weber Open. He just loves this place, the fans and the special atmosphere. It is good that the tournament has a lifetime contract with him. We have an exceptional partnership.”

Twenty-fives years is a “Silver Anniversary.” The planning to make it both extraordinary and memorable began, within seconds, after the last ball was hit. Gerry and Ralf Weber have established a tournament that is truly magic, yet they will find a way to make it even better. On a personal note, having attended the previous 24 events, I can’t wait to be in Halle for the 2017 Gerry Weber Open.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Roger Federer Withdraws From Toronto And Cincinnati Due To Ongoing Knee Injury

Roger Federer’s knee problems continue as he withdraws from Toronto and Cincinnati.

Avatar

Published

on

Roger Federer (@CincyTennis - Twitter)

Roger Federer’s knee problems continue as he withdraws from Toronto and Cincinnati.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion’s preparations for the US Open have taken a hit after withdrawing from the two Masters 1000 events in Canada and Cincinnati.

Federer’s last match was a comfortable straight sets defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Since then the Swiss has been recovering his knee injury as he looks to play the US Open and win the race to 21 grand slams as him, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are tied on 20.

However Federer will have to do this without any competitive preparation as he withdraws from both Canada and Cincinnati.

Federer though isn’t the only one to have withdrawn from Canada as Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno Busta have also announced their withdrawal from the tournament.

Tournament director Karl Hale commented on the withdrawals and admitted he was disappointed, “We are of course disappointed that Milos [Raonic], Alexander [Zverev], Roger [Federer], Matteo [Berrettini] and Pablo [Carreno Busta] will not be competing in Toronto this year,” he told the National Bank Open website.

“For Milos in particular, we know he was looking forward to playing in front of a Canadian crowd in his home tournament. However, we fully understand their decisions and wish them all the best for the rest of the season. We hope they will all return to Toronto in two years’ time.”

As of now Toronto still has Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov are still expected to play.

The draw takes place at 12pm local time on Saturday with main draw action beginning on Monday.

Continue Reading

Focus

Ash Barty Reveals ‘Excitement’ After Mixed Doubles Medal In Tokyo

Ash Barty has revealed her excitement after her and John Peers won Australia’s first Olympic tennis medal for 17 years.

Avatar

Published

on

Ash Barty and John Peers (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Ash Barty revealed her excitement at winning Bronze in the mixed doubles in Tokyo with John Peers.

 

The world number one along with doubles specialist John Peers claimed Australia’s first tennis medal at the Olympics since 2004.

Despite benefiting from a bronze medal match withdrawal from Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic, that hasn’t taken away the happiness of claiming an Olympic medal.

Speaking to the Channel 7 programmes Sunrise Barty proudly spoke about the achievement, “It’s been an amazing week for both John and I,” Barty was quoted as saying by Tennis Australia.

“We’ve played some great tennis, probably the best we’ve ever played together. To walk away with a medal and contribute to the team total here in Australia has been incredible.

“Johnny and I, we put ourselves in a position all week to play good tennis and I feel like we really deserve this one. We were so close to being in that gold medal play-off and I think for both of us, it’s been awesome. We’ve played great. I felt like we really deserved this one for Australia.

“No, I think for us it’s excitement. I just hope as athletes, as a whole Australian team that’s here – all 480 odd of us – we can bring a smile to people’s faces at home when they’re sitting on the couch enjoying watching us trying (to) go out there and do Australia proud.”

As for John Peers it was an achievement of a lifetime, inspired by the traditional Olympic spirit, “Any chance you get to represent your country and to do it alongside Ash, to be able to say we’re the first mixed doubles medallists at an Olympics for Australia is something really special,” the 33 year-old commented.

“There was so much uncertainty leading into the Games and to be able to see the way the Australian team’s come together and sort of really bonded has really shown the Australian spirit, the way that all the athletes get behind each other.

“To be able to show the Olympics is going on in uncertain times is just something really special and unique and hopefully it can be the turning point for the world, and Australia, to come out the other side.”

Both will be hoping that this week will be the start of something special for Australian tennis as they will look to capitalise on this success in three years time in Paris.

Next for John Peers will be Washington next week where he and Filip Polasek are the top seeds.

While Ash Barty will be starting her preparations for the US Open in Cincinnati which starts on the 16th of August.

Continue Reading

Focus

Czech Republican Trailblazers Inspire Krejcikova and Siniakova To Olympic Gold In Tokyo

Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova reflect on Czech Republic’s Olympic past after Olympic gold.

Avatar

Published

on

Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova admit that former Czech Republican trailblazers inspired them to win doubles gold in Tokyo.

 

The top seeds claimed gold with a 7-5 6-1 win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic.

After edging a tight opening set, the Czech Republican duo eased to victory to claim gold in Tokyo.

It was a historic gold as the pair went one better than trailblazers Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova who won silver in Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1992.

After the victory today Krejcikova paid tribute to those before them and said that they were inspired by those who came before them, “The motivation we got from the previous medallists is really big,” the Roland Garros champion told the ITF website.

“I think we got really inspired by them. I think we really need to thank them because without them we just wouldn’t have the motivation and the inspiration.

“It’s really big. We’re really happy and really grateful that we could be here. We did such a great job during these 10 days and we have this beautiful gold medal. It’s pretty much a dream come true.”

While Katerina Siniakova also outlined how special it is to win the gold medal as the top seeds remain the team to beat in the Women’s doubles game, “It’s really special this one,” Siniakova admitted.

“I really enjoyed my whole time here. It was really tough and I’m so glad we kept fighting and in the end we have this one, this gold medal. It’s really amazing. I feel so honoured I got to represent my country.”

The Czech Republican will be favourites to win their fourth grand slam at the US Open in late August.

As for Bencic and Golubic, it has been a successful tournament especially for Bencic who won Olympic gold yesterday.

After the match Bencic admitted it’s not just about Olympic medals and that its about the memories created, “It’s not just about the medals or the titles, it’s about the memories you create that will last forever,” Bencic claimed.

“To share this with Viki is unbelievable. The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well.

“When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about these moments and I cannot wait for that.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending