Berlin's tennis tournament wrestles - about Steffi Graf, television, subsidies
By Rose Paton
Special to WTAFANS.COM
In few weeks, the red white installation is at the dog throat on the occasion of the MasterCard German Open of the 5- 11 May 2003 one week again center of the professional lady tennis. This to the Tier I tournament category of the WTA tour of counting championships in the French Open in Paris the climax of the European clay court season. To the 23. The LTTC is once. red white" by the order of the German tennis of association hosts of the biggest and Germanizes of lady tournament the most significantly. On the other hand, over 1,2 million U.S. dollars are available for the players arriving from many countries as price money. The winner will gain 182.000 U.S. dollars.
Eberhard Wensky seems very well recovered. Deeply browned, the tournament director raved. To present May with the German Open in Berlin eight of the best ten tennis women of the world, - among them Serena William, the number one and "the measurement of all things", the Belgian Kim Clijsters ("the single one (that can be very dangerous, and the American Jennifer Capriati,)) "we love them all".
Not only the Top-Ten- players promise but giving birth the entire participant field with the many is outstanding for rising talents, especially from Eastern Europe. Very much, we will miss the former No. 1 in the world and title bearer in Berlin in the year 1999, Martina Hingis. After several injury-conditional pauses, Martina singaled her end of career lately. Only with 22 years, that is very early; certainly, also a proper portion of frustration contributed to this surprising decision. The distance between the world top, especially to the two Williams became too big well. The long-time No. 1 and successor of Steffi Graf seems not to be in the psychic condition at the moment in order to be able to struggle again along at the world top. She would not like to be in the nameless field of the beaten of course. With reference on her old, however, hope insists that the Swiss can motivate herself again and comes back well prepared on the tour.
Another Martina returned and provides full platforms at the double matches. Martina Navratilova is still an outstanding tennis player with 47 years. We could experience samples of her proficiency in the last both years in Berlin. and was enthusiastic. Now, Martina grew together athletically with the young Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova as a partner to one of the world-best double teams as two tournament victories confirm impressively in the last weeks. Also in Key Biscayne, they stood in the semifinal. Martina Navratilova enjoys the acknowledgment, that you will bring world-wide. You promise, to go in Berlin at the start, was picked up with big joy of course.
Moreover, the German players at the MasterCard German Open do something? No German player is reported for the main field. However over the qualification games and with three game will see Cards we also German faces. Anca Barna is included party. She won the national championships in the previous year and is rewarded Card in Berlin by the DTB with a game. She is also at the best placed German gambler on the world chart. Goods chances of a game of Card have especially also Marlene Weing?rtner, Angelika Roesch, Barbara Rittner and Martina M?ller. Of course, also further German players have the chance to qualify for the main field over the qualification games.
Wensky is blissful since he was allowed to chat in Key Biscaynes sun with Steffi Graf. She gave him "a solid promise" to support the event - like Boris Becker the Hamburg men's tournament, "Steffi is available also for a show fight. However not short-term: Count didn't train three months and prepares for the Grand Slam in Paris, "because she believes that she come out to play mixed doubles with Agassi no more now, however."
Without count however, it seems so that Wensky comes before the end. Since the quotas of the ARD 2002 "desastr?s (SFB-Sportchef Jochen Sprentzel) were", the institution gives up transfers. The organizing German tennis Bund lacks approximately 1.4 million through it Euro. But before all, the boss of the marketing agency IMG, Christian Pirzer, complains about the loss of "a platform in order to present economic partners." That Euro sport sends at least three hours live until the semifinal daily, doesn't suffice sponsors.
How the need is big, proves that DTB-Pr
?sident Georg von Waldenfels auditioned exactly with the Berlin sport senator Klaus B?ger so that the politics make pressure for the stations under public law. SFB-Mann Sprentzel says "that the ARD would handle the tournament with Einbindung of the person as now" differently count surely.
The last way out, that to hold German Open in Berlin otherwise, it dawns director Wensky, the subsidy of state side" is ". The contract of the title sponsor Mastercard, who contributes approximately one amount of height of the total price money of 1,224 million dollars, runs out 2003. Mastercard-Boss Jan Hendrikx arranges "without the media presence", our commitment cannot be represented economically."
World class format again in Berlin
The sport will have world class format again in Berlin. Additional to the enclosed information to the first-class framework program, further events are building intended at the successful activities of the previous years:
Monday and Tuesday, 5. and 6. 1.500 youth members are invited May 2003 from the clubs of the association area Berlin Brandenburg as tournament guests;
Tuesday, 6. The diplomat ladies of the club are May 2003. Welcome in Berlin" honor guests of the tournament.
Friday, 9. Associations and the LTTC load May 2003 the German tennis. red white" this the Ambassadors club belonging and in the Federal republic of accredited ambassadors as honor guests of the MasterCard German Open one.
On the Bal de match on Saturday, 10. May 2003 in the hotel Inter-Continental expects the guests an outstanding Entertainment also in this year: Europe's leading gala and show orchestras. the Studiker", and as star guest Precious Wilson with world hits like. I can't stood rain" the.
As honor guests, federal secretary of the Interior Otto Schily has among others, President AD Dr. Richard of Weizs?cker and of course Klaus Wowereit, that took over mayors also again from Berlin the patronage as reign, her/its/their arrival announced.
Euro sport transfers to following times from Tuesday to Sunday of the tournament week: At the 6., 7., 8. and 9. May in each case from 13.30 o'clock live. The record of the half final games at the 10. May and the finale at the 11. It is sent May in each case from 17.30 o'clock.
Nationally, no telecast times could be arranged until now. ARD and ZDF, that reported about many years of this tournament, rejected a renewed commitment with indication of the weak viewing figures and market shares in the last both years. At this place, also the hint is allowed that very much the quotas were impaired by the date overlap with the formula I (big price from Austria) exactly in the two last years. The German Open of the ladies always had the highest viewing figures and market shares in the past of all tennis events in Germany in May. With approximately 2 million organized club members of the DTB and once again just as much not-organized tennis players, who certainly consider all one of the charge payers of the institutions under public law, an abstinence of ARD and ZDF is at such a hochkar?tigen tournament as it has been the MasterCard German Open for many years, not comprehensible.
A particular thanks is for all tournament sponsors, especially the title sponsor MasterCard and the Hauptsponsor Mercedes-Benz, that they support the event with extraordinarily big commitment also in this year.
The LTTC. red white" has the event as an organizer carefully and routiniert prepares and hopes on full platforms with traditionally vernal. red white weathers". the booking of the admission tickets induces in the framework of the previous years. From the altogether 50.000 places, that are available in the entire tournament week, approximately 20.000 cards are sold until now. As best event day draws itself like until now the Ladies Day on Wednesday, that in 7. May, from and a sold out tournament installation can be expected probably again here. Although the spectator resonance was easily retrograde in the previous year, the Berlin tournament still is among the five on the world-wide WTA tour at the the best visited lady tournament.
Will there be the German open in 2004
As the German Open are not televised under public law, main sponsor "Mastercard" gives notice, contract runs out, followed by its withdrawa. "For 2004, we cannot produce" any budget, DFB-Gesch?ftsf?hrer Jan Kohne says. Is this the end of German Open?