The Bad Homburg Open is a newcomer to the WTA 2020 calendar, but the Hessian grass court event, taking place on the grounds of the oldest tennis club on the European mainland, continues a unique tradition. So the tournament motto is as appropriate as it is appealing: “TENNIS IS COMING HOME”.
The first tennis court on the European continent was built in June 1876 in the spa park of the spa town Bad Homburg. A grass court, fittingly! The lines on the specially short-cut lawn were drawn with lime. At that time, the court still had a “waist”, similar to the cross-section of an hourglass. Two rods served as temporary fixings for the net. The men sported chic white suits and shirts with stand-up collars, and the ladies wore laced-up dresses and Florentine hats as they picked up their rackets.
Speaking of which: British spa guests brought rackets and balls along in their luggage. Sir Robert Anstruther organised these first historical games in idyllic Bad Homburg. In one of the very oldest photographs, we see him in 1876, playing a mixed double with two other men and a woman in the Kurpark (spa park). That same year, the TC Bad Homburg was founded as the first tennis club on the continent. In 1877, just one year later, the first Lawn Tennis Championship took place in Wimbledon.
The TC Bad Homburg grounds remained a popular venue for special events. In 1970, for example, the German Davis Cup team around icon Wilhelm Bungert stopped off in the Kurpark and defeated Denmark. World-class sport was also on display in 1973, when Australian tennis legend Evonne Goolagong and her team won the Federation Cup. A total of 28 teams took part.
In light of this tradition, Angelique Kerber & Co. are saying: “TENNIS IS COMING HOME!”