It was May 3, 1992. Tennis legend Steffi Graf (51) was the last German to win the women’s final at Rothenbaum against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (49 / Spain) 7: 6, 6: 2. With watery eyes! Because of problems with the conjunctiva, the record winner (six titles) needed eye drops at the time.
29 years later – and 19 years after the tournament was sold to Philadelphia – the Rothenbaum has a women’s tournament again!
Sandra and Peter-Michael Reichel bought the license for the 250 tournament in Jurmala / Latvia ($ 250,000 in prize money).
“We are pleased that we can keep our promise, if possible this summer, if the pandemic allows,” said Sandra Reichel. “We have been working on this in the background for two years. I didn’t expect it to go so quickly in the end either. “
Her father has been a member of the WTA for 25 years. When he heard that the license was available, he took it.
The Reichels would prefer to host the tournament parallel to the men’s European Open (ATP 500) (July 10th – 18th). But that has to be approved by the ATP. Sandra Reichel: “I hope that we will get feedback in two to three weeks.”
Should the ATP block, the women would have to serve in the week before or after. Which in turn will be closely related to Wimbledon (until July 11th) or Olympia (from July 23rd). In addition, out of consideration for residents and the club on the Alster, events may only take place on the Rothenbaum 18 days a year …
As far as viewers are concerned, the Reichels plan with four scenarios and budgets. Sandra Reichel: “Our premise remains: Safety first. If we had 2300 fans like last year, we could be happy. “
Either way, starting a pandemic year is a risk. Sandra Reichel: “You can’t always choose everything. Such an opportunity may not come up again anytime soon. “