The gap between the French Open and Wimbledon will be extended to three weeks in 2015, and it looks like this can only be a good thing for grass court tennis.
Wimbledon will be moved back a week in the 2015 tennis calendar, allowing space for another grass court tournament to fill the gap between the action at Roland Garros and the start of main draw play at the All-England Club. It has recently been announced that the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart will be rescheduled to become the newest addition to the grass swing.
The Mercedes Cup had previously been played on clay, but the organisers in Stuttgart showed plenty of enthusiasm for a change of surface. Working in close co-operation with some of Wimbledon’s grass court experts, the turf will be laid in Stuttgart in anticipation of a landmark year for the tournament.
Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of the All-England Club, seems excited about the development. Speaking about the changes in Stuttgart, he remarked: “The three-week gap will create a longer grass court season between the French Open and Wimbledon, allowing the players more time to recover from the demands of playing at Roland Garros and then to prepare for The Championships. We are delighted to welcome the MercedesCup as a very important first step in building this exciting new extension to the grass court game. It is a highly respected tournament with a fine history and with whom we have a great relationship, and we look forward to working closely with them as we develop the opportunities for top class grass court tennis.”
Many requested a longer break between the two summer slams, and it looks like it can only be a good thing that this request has been heeded. The schedule is dominated by hardcourt and clay competitions, and an extended lawn season, in fitting with the origins of the game, should be a real crowd pleaser.
Written by Ian Horne from Wimbledon-Live.com