The Gerry Weber Open is a tournament in the category ATP World Tour 250, the prize money is approximately 2.116.916 euros. The German city Halle, located in the former East Germany (the land of Saxony-Anhalt) always attracts a significant number of tourists. This old German city, founded in the ninth century, was extremely lucky. It is located only 40 km from Leipzig, where almost all the buildings were destroyed during the hostilities.
What saved Halle from destruction was the weather on the day scheduled to bombard this city. Therefore, the historical center of the most populous city of Saxony has been preserved completely. Tourists who want to get acquainted with the city, where the breath of history is palpable, come at any time of the year. However, in June their number is significantly increased due to the fans who coame to see the famous professional tennis players. At this time in the city there is Gerry Weber Open – men’s tennis championship, which involves professionals of the highest class. This championship precedes the Wimbledon tournament, the most prestigious competition of professional tennis players.
History of the Gerry Weber Open
The occurrence of the main tennis tournament in Germany is due to the activities of the company Gerry Weber International IG, headed by Gerhard Weber. The head of the company began his career with the trade in fashionable clothes and then became a famous manufacturer of clothes of various styles, including sports clothes. The popularity of the company, known as Hatex since 1973, has grown, its sales have increased. The profit of the company, which in 1986 changed its name to Gerry Weber, was spent on its expansion. Specialists of the company have developed new styles of clothing related to the sports fashion. The company sponsored the famous tennis player Steffi Graf. Her success at the Grand Slam tournament, held in France, and her further eight-year championship attracted public’s attention to the company.
Three years later, a new brand was developed, for the advertisement of which a sponsorship contract was signed with the German athlete Karin Krabbe. The increased income of the company allowed to complete the construction of the head office and a new factory. It was time to implement the long-planned Gerhard Weber grandiose project. His plans were to combine the activities of his company with tennis, organising a tennis tournament in Halle, known throughout the world. Under the direct leadership of Gerhard Weber, in just a year, 10 tennis courts grew on the outskirts of Halle, and together with them a stadium was built, which accommodates 9,000 fans. Jim Thorne, a gardener who previously worked on the famous courts of Wimbledon, was invited to care for the courts.
The first international tournament Gerry Weber Open was held in 1993. It was attended by the leading stars of world tennis.
Champions of Gerry Weber Open
The first winner of the tournament, held in 1993 in Halle, was the representative of France, Henri Leconte. The tennis players from the Czech Republic Peter Korda and Souk Cyril were champions in the doubles. During the time of the tournament in Halle many athletes have earned titles. However, among them there are real record-holders, who won the title several times.
The absolute record in the number of wins is held by the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer. The athlete became the winner in singles six times, four of the titles were won in a row. Another title appeared in the athlete’s portfolio for winning in a doubles match. He played in a pair with the Swiss representative Yves Allegro.
Among the record holders there is also a representative of Russian tennis – Eugene Kafelnikov, who won three times the title in the Gerry Weber Open – 1997, 1998, 2002.
The hosts of the tournament won in singles five times. The German champion is Michael Stich, who became the first representative of Germany to win the Gerry Weber Open. Later, Tommy Haas became the champion. In doubles, the German tennis players won three times.
2018 Gerry Weber Tournament
In 2018, 32 participants will compete for champion titles in Halle. The Gerry Weber Open starts on June 18th.
The world celebrity – record holder of the tournament Roger Federer takes part in the competition. Federer’s biggest challenger is Dominic Thiem. Russia is represented by the Muscovite Andrei Rublev, who came to professional tennis in 2015. Alexander Zverev, no. 3 in ATP ranking, will also fight for the title – he made it to the finals last year. The winner receives 500 ATP points, the finalist 300 points.