Former world number two Paula Badosa repeatedly gazed in awe at the sell-out crowd of 3700 on the Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court and made a declaration of love: “It’s unbelievable, we’re playing the first round here – and the stands are completely full,” the Spaniard said in English after her 6-4, 6-1 win over Arantxa Rus (Netherlands), adding in German: “Thank you!”

Tournament ambassador Angelique Kerber is also looking forward to the atmosphere in the Kurpark ahead of her comeback on Monday at 4pm (Eurosport, SKY and against world number 49 Diana Shnaider. “All the emotions you get here are intense and unforgettable. I really missed these impressions last year,” said the 2018 Wimbledon champion, who is playing her first home match in two years after maternity leave.

Three Grand Slam winners on “Magic Monday

Kerber’s match is just one of the highlights on a Super Monday that features three Grand Slam winners: In addition to the tournament ambassador, former Australian Open champion and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) will play last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Elina Svitolina (Ukraine). Canadian wildcard Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, will also play her first round match against Anna Blinkova. Defending champion Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic will play Clara Burel of France.

Tatjana Maria goes down to fearsome opponent

Tatjana Maria was unlucky on the first day of the tournament as she once again came up against her feared opponent Viktoriya Tomova. The German number one went down 6-1, 6-3 to the qualifier – Tatjana Maria had already lost to the Bulgarian in Hobart earlier this year. Tamara Korpatsch was the lucky loser in the main draw and will take on fourth seed Beatriz Haddad Maria of Brazil on Monday.

Meanwhile, top ten player Maria Sakkari won a number of new fans at her autograph session in the busy Baloise Park Village on Sunday: The world number nine from Greece, who will meet Elisabetta Cocciaretto (Italy) at 12 pm on Monday in the first match of the day on the Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court, appeared in a German national football shirt with the number 18 – and the name Klinsmann on the back!

Hessian Sports Minister Diana Stolz presented tournament director Aljoscha Thron with a €125,000 grant from the state of Hesse.