The ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi says having an ATP Masters 1000 tournament on grass before Wimbledon “makes sense” and has hinted that Germany and the United Kingdom are likely to host the event.
The calendar typically consists of nine ATP Masters tournaments with six taking place on hard courts and three on clay, but only eight events have been held the past three years as the Shanghai Masters have been temporarily cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been calls in the past for a Masters event to be held on grass and Gaudenzi says it would be logical to add a 10th tournament, and Germany’s Halle Open or London’s Queen’s Club Championships could be upgraded from ATP 500 events to ATP 1000 tournaments.
“There are three weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon. Grass is the only surface on which a Masters 1000 tournament is not played,” he told Germany’s Tennis Magazine. “This means that between Rome and the Canada Masters in the summer, the ATP has 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, especially in the large and important market of Germany, which was the number one tennis market in the 1990s.
“The Germans love tennis and its history. It’s the same with the UK market. It has the same chances as Germany of a grass 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 10 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in the future.”
Gaudenzi also confirmed that there will be several changes to the ATP Masters events in the future with player involvement now at the forefront as they will have a 50/50 partnership with tournaments.
“In addition to the already published plan, the core of the change is the alignment of interests between players and tournaments,” he said.
“A new prize money formula offers players the opportunity to share in the financial success. The ATP will be a 50/50 partnership between players and tournaments.
“For more than 30 years, players have not had the chance to be involved on the business side of tournaments. This led to complaints and a lack of trust. For me it was never comprehensible. As a player, you are a partner of the ATP and of course you would like to have an insight into the processes.”
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