‘Queen’s and Halle have equal chance of upgrade to Masters,’ says ATP chief
ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi says he is determined to add a grass Masters to the calendar – and Queen’s and Halle have an ‘equal chance’ of getting it.
The nine Masters events are always a highlight of the tennis calendar, although the short grass season means that surface has always missed out on getting one.
They are currently split between three played on clay, five on outdoor hard and one indoor hard, but Gaudenzi wants to shake things up a little.
“There are three weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon,” Gaudenzi explained. “Grass is the only surface on which a Masters 1000 tournament is not played.
“This means that between Rome and the Canada Masters in the summer, the ATP will have no premium content for the fans for two months.
“Because almost all players start in the middle of the three grass weeks before Wimbledon, a grass Masters makes sense,” said Gaudenzi.
The two premier ATP 500 tournaments on grass are Queen’s (London) and Halle (Germany), with the tournaments generally played in the same week of the calendar.
They are the two obvious contenders to by upgraded to Masters level, although it will be a tough one to weigh up as upgrading one will likely have a huge effect on the other.
Gaudenzi, though, is determined to find a solution somehow, even if he admits it is a difficult decision to make.
“The Germans love tennis and its history,” he said. “It’s the same with the UK market. It has the same chances as Germany of a lawn masters.
“It offers the advantage that the players are already in London before Wimbledon. But: London already has Wimbledon. Our plan is that there will be ten ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in the future.”
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