TENNIS IS COMING HOME

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!”

COURT CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN

There’s a lot to do, and the work is already well underway: Construction of the new grass courts for the Bad Homburg Open began in early November, with two excavators coming to remove the old sand cover. Centre Court on the historic grounds of the TC Bad Homburg will be the heart of the future tournament complex – a “stage” in the idyllic Kurpark, where 3,500 spectators can experience exciting duels in summer.

Next to Centre Court, two Match Courts will be built, where 250 fans each will find their place. In addition, there are three high-quality training courts on the grounds of the Homburg gymnastics community. “We are very pleased that the work has begun,” says Bad Homburg’s mayor Alexander Hetjes, “this tournament, and Wimbledon’s offer, is like a gift for our city.”

The close cooperation between the Bad Homburg Open and Wimbledon’s All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is also seen in the construction and maintenance of the courts: The head groundsman of the world’s most famous tournament, Neil Stubley, will regularly accompany and supervise the work. After removing the sand cover from the Match Courts and applying a new layer of soil, the next step will be seeding the grass.

ANGELIQUE KERBER IS TOURNAMENT AMBASSADOR

On 14 July 2018, she created Germany’s greatest tennis moment of the century – on that day, Angelique Kerber lifted the trophy to the skies on Centre Court at Wimbledon after her memorable final triumph over US star Serena Williams. Wimbledon, lawn, and Angelique Kerber – it’s a very special relationship, which is now heightened at home, in front of German (and international) fans. Because at the Bad Homburg Open, the new WTA International tournament under the patronage of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the three-time Grand Slam queen is not just a player competing for the trophy.

For this competition in the Kurpark, on grounds steeped in tradition, Angelique Kerber is much more: She is the face of the tournament, the global ambassador for the tournament – and in the future, after the conclusion of her phenomenal career, she will also become the tournament director. The woman who will give the Bad Homburg Open her own personal touch. “With this tournament, a great dream of mine is coming true. And the Bad Homburg Kurpark is the ideal setting for this event,” Angelique Kerber explains, “it’s important to me to already be involved in many decisions and plans.”

And she’s walking her talk: At the first big workshop of the organisers – the agencies Perfect Match and Angelique Kerber Management – the Wimbledon winner sat at the table and actively participated in the creative exchange of ideas. “I’ve been to hundreds of tournaments over the years. I know what makes for a good event and infrastructure, what the players’ wishes are,” says Angelique Kerber. Early in the new season, the 31-year-old also wants to have her first talks with colleagues to win them over for the Bad Homburg premiere. “I’m sure we’ll have a very attractive field,” says the Wimbledon queen.

ADVANCE TICKETS FOR THE BAD HOMBURG OPEN: NOW ON SALE

Nearly seven months prior to the first serve at the Bad Homburg Open, advance tickets for the premiere of the WTA lawn tournament start go on sale today (December 3). Tickets for all seven match days of the new WTA event can now be purchased online in cooperation with our partner Reservix.

Take advantage of our Christmas Special: Until 24 December 2019, grandstand tickets for Centre Court are available with a 15 percent discount on the normal price. Day tickets cost between 29 euros and 75 euros.

To order tickets, please click here

On Sunday, 21 June, 2020, the International Series event will begin with qualifying matches and the first matches of the 32-draw main field. The final of the 275,000-dollar event will take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020. Centre Court on the idyllic grounds of the TC Bad Homburg has a capacity of 3,500 spectators.

For three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber, and the other players, the Bad Homburg Open is the ideal “dress rehearsal” for the Championships on Church Road, starting on 29 June, 2020 in Wimbledon. Kerber (31), who will be working as tournament director of the Bad Homburg Open after concluding her sporting career, is already looking forward to this new event in the 2020 WTA calendar.

“I hope that many tennis fans will come to Bad Homburg to experience this tournament with its unique Wimbledon flair,” said Kerber, emphasising that “the Kurpark is the ideal place for a fantastic event in a special atmosphere.”

Mayor of Bad Homburg, Alexander Hetjes (CDU), is also very much looking forward to the WTA event. “We are very proud to be hosting a preparation tournament for Wimbledon,” he said.

A high-quality supporting programme with theme days (e.g. Family Day, Kids’ Day) will further sweeten the long summer days at this historic site and help make the Bad Homburg Open a social highlight in the Rhine-Main region.