Nick Kyrgios confirms his participation. Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner have also signed up for the tournament in Stuttgart.
Stuttgart, 11th May 2021. – The MercedesCup 2021 will definitely take place! After intense negotiations between e|motion sports as organizer of the grass court tournament at Stuttgart’s Weissenhof and the ATP on the one hand, and the ATP and the responsible parties of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) on the other hand, this is now confirmed. “Because of the one-week postponement of the French Open and the resulting overlap with the MercedesCup, there were some obstacles to be cleared but in the end we came to a positive solution which is acceptable for all three parties”, tournament director Edwin Weindorfer emphasizes, after having several conversations with players.
“The situation surrounding the French Open has led to some uncertainties, but we got lots of positive signals from the players concerning a commitment to play the MercedesCup. Depending on their performance in Paris, Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner have already committed to our tournament. Nick Kyrgios’ appearance is already fixed as he will not play the French Open”, Weindorfer explains.
The 26-year old Australian has made a name for himself on the ATP tour – not only as an ingenious tennis player, but also as “enfant terrible”. Last year, he had some verbal exchanges with his colleagues concerning their behavior during the pandemic. Grass is the favorite surface for the six-time ATP tournament winner. Kyrgios has proven that in 2018 in Stuttgart, when he forced the later winner Roger Federer into a third set Tie-break in the semis. “Nick Kyrgios is one of the fan favorites on the ATP tour. His varied game and his unpredictability on the court certainly make him one of the favorites of this year’s edition of the MercedesCup”, Weindorfer says.
Due to the special situation concerning the scheduling conflict with the second week of the French Open, the organizers of the MercedesCup have struck some “special agreements” with the ATP. For example, there will be five instead of three wildcards for the main draw. To be able to react on short notice to what happens at the French Open, the qualification will start on Monday, 7th June 2021, and the main draw on Tuesday, 8th June 2021.
“This grants the players the best possible flexibility. We have done anything that possible to prevent a second consecutive cancellation of the tournament. Now we are looking forward to start the grass court season 2021 in Stuttgart, at the same time being the first step towards Wimbledon, the Grand Slam highlight of the year. We will make the best of this challenging situation and promise: The MercedesCup will once again offer top grass court tennis”, Weindorfer states. It is not yet certain if there will be fans allowed on the premises. Weindorfer: “Obviously, we hope that we will be able to play in front of a crowd, but we are dependent on the incidence rate, as well as the regulations and permissions of the authorities.”
“We are happy and at the same time relieved that the MercedesCup can be held again this year. The preparations at the Weissenhof have been going full-speed for quite some time now – in the past weeks we focused on the care of the courts. We will offer the players the best possible conditions at the first ATP grass court tournament of the season”, says Gert Brandner, chairman of the TC Weissenhof.
Positively noted: despite the difficult predictability of the surrounding conditions, the MercedesCup could rely on the strong bond with its partners and sponsors. Led by Mercedes-Benz as title sponsor, as well as premium sponsors Liqui Moly, Gazi, CG Elementum, Lavazza, Wir machen Druck, Emirates and Tennis Warehouse Europe, the tournament received great support from numerous companies, leading in their respective industry. The MercedesCup also receives great backing by regional players on other partnership levels – a loyalty not self-evident. “All this strengthens our determination, to finally offer the fans in Germany and all over the world high-class tennis entertainment from the Weissenhof with unaltered motivation and energy”, Weindorfer complements.
The MercedesCup 2021 places emphasis on innovative elements, thus living up to the most modern requirements in terms of infrastructure and media use. This includes a freshly developed event app and the use of 270 degrees LED boards, which frames the center court on three sides, thus contributing to a more flexible and attention-grabbing display of the partners and sponsors. There will be no line judges on the courts. Instead, the line calling will be operated on all match courts by the Hawk-Eye-LIVE technology for the first time during an ATP or WTA grass court tournament.