HAMBURG WILL BE THE TENNIS CAPITAL FOR NINE DAYS! AT THE HAMBURG EUROPEAN OPEN WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO A SLUGFEST BETWEEN WORLD-CLASS PLAYERS BRINGING TOP-CLASS TENNIS TO THE CENTER COURT AT ROTHENBAUM. AMONG THE MEN, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE SHOOTING STAR CARLOS ALCARAZ AND World NUMBER Eight ANDREY RUBLEV. AMONG THE WOMEN, THE WORLD RANKING SECOND ANETT KONTAVEIT AND THE GERMAN TENNIS STAR ANDREA PETKOVIC ARE ON THE COURT TO INSPIRE US WITH IMPRESSIVE RALLIES IN THE FIGHT FOR THE TITLE. EXCITING EVENTS AND A LOT OF CELEBRITIES ARE ALSO WAITING OFF THE COURT, WHICH WE ALSO KEEP AN EYE ON FOR YOU!
DAY 1 Hamburg European Open
DAY 1 AT THE HAMBURG EUROPEAN OPEN WAS ENTIRELY DEDICATED TO THE QUALIFICATIONS. IN ADDITION TO THE UPCOMING TALENTS, THE FIRST SUPERSTARS ALREADY VISITED THE VENUE. BUT IT WAS EVEN EXCITING OFF THE COURT…
A total of 40 players start in the qualification and can take the chance of a main draw and the really big tennis stars have already arrived at Rothenbaum. Among others, the Spanish superstar Carlos Alcaraz put in a training session at the facility. But things were also exciting away from the courts. The Hamburg real estate specialist Großmann & Berger had invited to a roof terrace in the city to determine the pairings for the WTA and ATP tournaments. The ATP players Jan-Lennard Struff, Daniel Altmaier and Borna Coric as well as the WTA players Eva Lys and Barbora Krejcikova served as lottery fairies – with a good hand! So we can look forward to top-class matches right at the start of the tournament! First seeded Carlos Alcaraz is challenged by German wildcard holder Nicola Kuhn in the first round. Second seeded Andrey Rublev will face Kazakh Alexander Bublik. In the women’s category, Anett Kontaveit, number one in the world, will play against Irina Bara in her opening match. The number two of the tournament, Daria Kasatkina, starts against Katerina Siniakova.
“I have a personal connection to Rothenbaum because I played my very first WTA tournament here. At that time I was 14 or 15 years old and played against my first top 100 player here.”Tournament Ambassador Andrea Petković
Tennis talk with Andrea Petković
…about her preparation for the “double burden” as a player and tournament ambassador in Hamburg:
“After Wimbledon, I hid in a hotel for three days and calmed down a little because I knew it would be busy. After that, I trained fully for a week. So I’m very well prepared in terms of sport and also mentally rested in order to be able to reconcile my two jobs as well as possible. It’s really important to me that the tournament is well promoted and that people like it. Of course, the focus for me is initially on sporting success, but then I will invest all my resources to ensure that this first combined event in Hamburg is a great success.”
…about German women’s tennis after the successes at Wimbledon:
“Jule has made a great step forward. She already showed her skills last year and has become even more stable. Now the next generation is coming too, with Eva Lys and Nastasja Schunk and then me as the old iron in between. I believe that we will have a good German tournament and of course I hope that the hype caused by Tatjana reaching the semi-finals in Wimbledon will also mean that a few more girls in Germany will now pick up a tennis racket.”
…about the player from the men’s field, whom she absolutely wants to see live:
“I would like to see Carlos Alcaraz play, I haven’t been able to do that in his career, which is still quite short. So it’s more his fault than me so far.”
DAY 2 Hamburg European Open
IT’S FAMILY TIME! DAY 2 AT ROTHENBAUM WAS ALL ABOUT FAMILY. AT THE “ARRIBA FAMILY DAY” KIDS, ADULTS AND FAMILIES COULD LOOK FORWARD TO SPECIAL PROMOTIONS AND FREE ENTRY FOR KIDS UP TO 16 YEARS OF AGE. AND WITH THE LAST QUALIFYING GAMES AND THE START OF THE WOMEN’S MAIN DRAW, YOUNG AND OLD ALSO GOT A LOT TO OFFER ON THE COURT.
The perfect Sunday outing for the whole family! On the second day of the Hamburg European Open, Arriba provided a lot of excitement for big and small tennis fans with great activities. For example, last year’s winner Elena-Gabriela Ruse diligently fulfilled all autograph requests at the Arriba stand and eager selfie hunters were able to snap snapshots with top players such as Carlos Alcaraz, Diego Schwarzman or Holger Rune after training. Meanwhile, on the center court, Sabine Lisicki fought a two-and-a-half-hour qualifying thriller with the Ukrainian Kateryna Baindlm, who she finally defeated 3:6, 6:4, 7:6 and thus secured her place in the main draw. On the other hand, Anna-Lena Friedsam just missed the main round, for whom the Romanian Ignatik also went into the tie-break of the third set. And Hamburg’s local hero Noma Akugue Noha lost to Selekhmeteva from Russia. In the men’s category, newcomer Marko Topo won the German duel against Rudolf Molleker. In the afternoon, the women’s first round match was played by Reka-Luca Jani (Hungary) against Laura Pigossi (Brazil), which the South American won. Then the match between number two seed Daria Kasatkina and the Czech Katerina Siniakova shook the center court – and promoted Siniakova to the next round 6:2, 2:6, 6:4. The local VIPs such as Revolverheld frontman Johannes Strate and actress Anna Angelina Wolfers did not miss this spectacle.
DAY 3 Hamburg European Open
THE TOURNAMENT MONDAY IS TRADITIONALLY RESERVED FOR THE KIDS – AND THEY WERE NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO EXPERIENCE EXCITING GAMES, BUT ALSO TO GET A FEEL FOR THE STARS AT THEIR OWN PRESS CONFERENCE. TOP 10 PLAYER ANDREY RUBLEV WASN’T THERE, BUT WE WERE ABLE TO ELICIT A FEW TIPS FOR THE YOUNG PLAYERS FROM HIM…
Under the motto “Children to power!”, everything revolved around the little visitors at the Edeka Kids’ Day at Rothenbaum. They got free entry up to the age of 16 and a varied supporting program was also offered. Numerous activities at the Kids’ Court, autograph sessions with the tennis stars, a children’s press conference and many other activities ensured games, fun and an unforgettable day for the little ones. And the big tennis players also had a lot of fun away from the court. The HSV stars Tim Leibold and Sonny Kittel stopped by the Players Center and showed Diego Schwartzman & Co. their tricks with the ball. Last year’s finalist Andrea Petković defeated Hamburg’s local hero Tamara Korpatsch 6:3, 6:3 in a German duel and then delighted the fans on Center Court with her infamous “Petko Dance”. The young players Eva Lys from Hamburg and Nastasja Schunk from Ludwigshafen, on the other hand, were eliminated. Even with the German men it was not enough for the second round. Jan-Lennard Struff lost 6: 3, 3: 6, 6: 7 (2: 7) to Karen Khachanov in an intense and dramatic “night session” despite two match points. Before that, the hopes of the two only 18-year-old Germans Marko Topo and Max Hans Rehberg to make it into the second round had been dashed. Now all German hopes are on Daniel Altmaier and Nicola Kuhn, who will face Carlos Alcaraz in his first match.
“As a tennis player, I can use the tennis platform in a positive way to show that good people exist, that we must try to be nice to one another and how important it is to have peace in the world.”Andrey Rublev, ATP 8
Tennis talk with ANDREY RUBLEV
…about his advice to young kids who dream of becoming professional players:
“To be honest, it’s not easy to give advice to kids. I would tell the kids to just have a passion for whatever sport they play, whether it’s tennis or any other sport. You should try to be humble in life, be a good person and do good things. My advice to parents is to just give love to children, don’t put pressure on them, treat them as friends and let them do what they want to do. If it’s tennis, then it’s tennis. If they don’t want to play tennis, don’t force them. Try to find out together what the child would like to do.”
…about the training conditions at the new Combined Event compared to the pure ATP tournament last year :
“Currently I haven’t noticed any difference – except, of course, that the girls are also on site – but organizationally I’ve noticed changes. This morning I had a training court available and this afternoon I will be able to print without any problems. I don’t have to share space in training and I think that’s the most important thing. Sometimes combo tournaments are held in locations where there aren’t enough seats available to have a carefree workout. Sometimes you have to share places or train at inconvenient times – sometimes super early in the morning or you even have the first training session during the lunch break. That’s not easy for either of them – for the girls and for the boys. But if the location allows for a combined tournament where everyone can easily succeed, if the players feel free, then it’s perfect – and right now I feel that way!”
…about his wishes for the injured Alexander “Sascha” Zverev and Dominic Thiem’s comeback after the injury break:
“In the case of Domi, it’s good to know that he can finally play freely and without pain. Now it’s up to him to keep going and play as much as possible without fear of going out and without fear of hitting the ball. Then he will come back step by step and get better and better. We could see in Båstad last week that he wins doubles matches, he beats Roberto (Bautista Agut, ed.) so that means next tournament will be even better and then hopefully he will be back very soon compete with the top players for the titles. As for Sascha, it was very, very hard and painful to see what happened in Paris. All I can say is hopefully he will recover quickly and nothing else will ever affect or stop him that much again. Hopefully he can play freely, hopefully he can come back soon. From the time he comes back, hopefully he will be free to play until the end of his career.”
…about his precautions for the upcoming heat wave in the tournament week:
“To be honest, I don’t do anything, I just accept it as completely normal. It’s part of the sport. We cannot control whether tomorrow will be really hot, normal or cold. Last week I played in Båstad and during the game it rained, the sun was very, very, very low and it was super windy – three things in one moment. You can’t prepare for that. It’s just part of the sport.”
DAY 4 Hamburg European Open
IT WAS HOT ON THIS TUESDAY AT ROTHENBAUM! WITH ESTONIAN ANETT KONTAVEIT (WTA 2) AND SPANIARD CARLOS ALCARAZ (ATP 6), THE TOP SEEDED PLAYERS ALSO TOOK PART IN THE TOURNAMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME – AND THE LATTER MADE IT REALLY EXCITING RIGHT FROM THE START…
It was Ladies’ Day at Rothenbaum! All visitors can look forward to a 15 percent discount on their tickets on the Tuesday of the tournament and were given a rose by the plant mail order company pflanzmich.de, where player Joanne Züger also stopped by. And of course women’s power was also popular on the pitch! With a 6:4, 6:3 win over the Japanese Misaki Doi, tournament ambassador Andrea Petković was the first player to reach the quarterfinals at Rothenbaum. The next opponent could now be the top seeded second in the world, Anett Kontaveit. In her first match of the tournament, she beat Romanian Irina Bara 6:3, 7:6 (7:3). “Of course it would be a great honor to play against the number two in the world on Center Court,” said Andrea Petković, who is the last remaining German player in the field. Because Jule Niemeier and Sabine Lisicki both lost their opening encounters. For the men, all eyes were on Carlos Alcaraz, the top seeded sixth in the world – and he fought a real heated battle on the center court with the German Nicola Kuhn, 6:1, 7:6 (7:3). Since Daniel Altmaier also had to admit defeat to Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, no German made it into the round of 16. Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and newcomer Holger Rune were also eliminated from the tournament. Defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta easily prevailed (6:2, 6:1) against Italian Luca Nardi.
DAY 5 Hamburg European Open
THE SPECTATORS WERE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THE HOTTEST MATCHES IN THE HISTORY OF THE ROTHENBAUM ON TOURNAMENT WEDNESDAY – IN THE TRUEST SENSE OF THE WORD! WITH UP TO 44 DEGREES ON THE CENTER COURT, THE FANS WITNESSED A HEATED BATTLE BETWEEN THE TOP STARS…
Hot, hotter, Hamburg Open! On the traditional Gentlemen’s Day, on which all men enjoyed a reduced entry fee of 15%, the audience was able to experience heated duels between the world’s best players at temperatures that at times climbed well above 40 degrees on the center court. Andrey Rublev, who was seeded in second place in the tournament, stayed cool in the midday heat and easily defeated lucky loser Ricardas Berankis 6:3, 6:4. Defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta found it harder with the high temperatures and fought a sweaty round of 16 match against Slovakian number one Alex Molcan, in which the Spaniard won 3:6, 6:1 and 6:7 . Monte Carlo finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, on the other hand, made it into the quarter-finals, who didn’t give qualifier Jozef Kovalik a chance with a score of 6:2, 6:2. He now meets Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the last eight. He defeated the Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in a thrilling match 6:4 and 7:5. And the ladies also fought heated duels. Fourth seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich defeated Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 6:3, 6:2. The second in the world rankings, Anett Kontaveit, also kept a cool head in the blazing furnace of Center Court and clearly defeated her close friend Rebecca Peterson from Sweden 6:3, 6:2. Next, Kontaveit meets tournament ambassador Andrea Petković in the quarterfinals. So it’s still going to be a hot fight for the title at Rothenbaum, even if the weather is supposed to cool down a bit in the next few days.
“I like Hamburg very much! I love this center court and have seen a few places around town that were very nice so I’m hoping to explore a bit more but so far I’m really impressed.”Anett Kontaveit, WTA 2
Tennis talk with Anett Kontaveit
…about the extreme heat in their round of 16 game:
“When we started our match, a little breeze came up and made it a little easier for us. It’s a good challenge for me to play in these conditions and also a way I can improve my fitness.”
…about her beauty routine, with which she protects her skin when playing in the sun :
“Of course you need sunscreen when the sun is extremely strong. So on days like this I use a very high sunscreen and in the evening I put on a moisturizer and some serum. I usually use creams that I buy from the pharmacy like anti-allergic products because I have sensitive skin.”
…about her advice to young girls who also want to become professional players:
“The most important thing is that you enjoy what you do and you have to really want it. I think that’s the most important thing. And I remember growing up I loved playing tennis and I loved competing so much. Even at our parents’ house, when we had guests, I would only half listen to them and at the same time play the ball against the wall with my tennis racket.”
…about the forthcoming encounter with Andrea Petković:
“It’s always great to play against a crowd favourite, but it will definitely be a good and difficult match. We’ve had a few close games and I’m really looking forward to it.”
DAY 6 Hamburg European Open
IT’S CRUNCH TIME! THE FIELD AT THE HAMBURG EUROPEAN OPEN IS SLOWLY THINNING AND WITH THE WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS AND MEN’S ROUND OF 16 IMPORTANT DECISIONS WERE PENDING – WHICH RESULTED IN A FEW SURPRISES AND TEARY EYES ON THE COURT…
It started with the quarter-final games of the ladies. In the first match of the day on Center Court, Anastasia Potapova got the first surprise. The 79th in the world rankings surprisingly knocked out Barbora Krajcicova, WTA 17 and French Open winner from 2021, 6:1, 6:3. The Ukrainian-born Maryna Zanevska, WTA ranking 72, also managed a surprise coup with her 6:4, 7:5 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who was fourth. In the second game on Center Court, tournament ambassador Andrea Petković faced top seeded Anett Kontaveit – but couldn’t finish the game. The 34-year-old from Darmstadt injured her left thigh and finally had to retire after 71 minutes of play when the score was 6:0, :-0. A bitter tournament end for crowd favorite Petković, who left the place with tears in her eyes. The second seed of the men’s draw, Andrey Rublev, also left the field with his head hanging after his match against Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo (ATP 30). After a strong start for Rublev, the South American turned the match around, dominating the world number eight and eventually winning 6:4, 6:2. Cerundolo’s opponent for the semi-finals will be Arslan Karatsev, who defeated Daniel Elahi Galan (Colombia) 3:6, 6:3, 6:4. And top favorite Carlos Alcaraz has also reached the quarterfinals. The Spaniard defeated last year’s finalist Filip Krajinovic (Serbia) in a top-class match 7:6 (7:4), 6:3 and now meets Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals, who won 6:3, 7:5 against the Italian Fabio Fognini.
DAY 7 Hamburg European Open
TENNIS FOR EVERYONE! AT THE START OF THE INCLUSION DAYS AT ROTHENBAUM, VISITORS WERE ABLE TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT TENNIS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND WATCH THE THRILLING WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS AND MEN’S QUARTER-FINALS ON THE COURT…
Under the motto “Tennis for All”, the Alexander Otto Sports Foundation presented the first of a total of two inclusion days at Rothenbaum. To kick things off, Nico Langmann, number 17 in the world wheelchair tennis rankings, hit a few balls with entrepreneur and patron Alexander Otto. In addition, visitors could look forward to several activities in wheelchair, blind and deaf tennis and take part in talks on the topic of inclusive sports. And there was a lot on offer on the center court as well – namely tennis at the highest level! In the first match of the day, the American Bernarda Pera (WTA 81) won 6:2, 6:4 against the Belgian Maryna Zanevska (WTA 62). Then the top seeded Anett Kontaveit won in a competitive and high-class match 6:3, 7:5 against Anastasia Potapova (WTA 79). In the men’s category, Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo made it into the last four with a hard-fought 6:3, 4:6, 7:6 (7:4) comeback win over Aslan Karatsev (ATP 40). The Italian Lorenzo Musetti (ATP 69) also prevailed 6:4, 6:3 against the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, currently 36th in the world. The game between Slovak Alex Molčan and Croatian Borna Coric ended 7:6 (9:7), 2:0 after the latter retired due to injury. The big fireworks were again ignited by the top seeded Carlos Alcaraz and Karen Khachanov, number 27 in the world, didn’t stand a chance. In just 69 minutes he defeated his opponent 6:0, 6:2 and delighted the audience with spectacular tennis.
“Before you can be a good athlete, you must learn to be a good person. I think I’m friends with almost everyone on the tour. Of course you don’t have any friends on court, but afterwards I get on well with everyone.”Carlos Alcaraz, ATP 6
Tennis talk with CARLOS ALCARAZ
…about his motivation:
“I want to compete with the Big3 Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. You have won many Grand Slams. Of course I also look up to Rafa and I want to win as many tournaments as he does. My motivation is to win as many Grand Slam tournaments as the Big 3 and to be at the top of the world rankings for as long as Djokovic.
…about his rituals :
“If things are going well in a week, then I always try to do the same. For example, always exercising at the same time, going to the warm-up at the same time, eating at the same time or always using the same shower.
…about his sympathy for opponents Karen Kacherov after the 6-0, 6-2 win:
“I always try to destroy my opponents on the field and keep the game as short as possible. But after the match, Karen is a friend of mine and I feel a little sorry for him after a loss like that.”
…about his mindset:
“It is very important for me to always have a positive attitude in the game. We have difficult moments in every game and you have to be positive about them. In tennis mentality is everything and if you are not good mentally you will not win the match and you will not win the tournament. For me it’s really, really important to always be positive.”
…about his recipe for success:
“It’s about training every day, having the motivation in every tournament, just getting started and saying to yourself: I have the level and the self-confidence. Train 100 percent every day and success will come.”
DAY 8 Hamburg European Open
FINAL SPRINT AT ROTHENBAUM! WITH THE WOMEN’S FINAL AND THE TWO MEN’S SEMI-FINALS, THE HAMBURG EUROPEAN OPEN PROMISED PLENTY OF EXCITEMENT AND FIRST-CLASS MATCHES WITH THE NEW SUPERSTARS OF TENNIS ON THE SECOND SATURDAY OF THE TOURNAMENT…
The weekend of decisions started with the women’s final. World number two Anett Kontaveit competed against Bernada Pera, number 81 in the world. And the distribution of chances was different than expected from the WTA placement of the two women. Pera is currently riding a wave of success. With 11 victorious matches without losing a set before the Hamburg final and a tournament victory in Budapest, the American is currently in top form. And so the 27-year-old crowned her winning streak of the last few weeks with a 6:2, 6:4 final match against Kontaveit. At the moment of her triumph, Bernarda Pera thought of her former coach Kristijan Schneider, who died in April. “The tennis world has suffered a great loss and I want to dedicate this trophy to him,” she said at the award ceremony in a halting voice – probably the most emotional moment of the tournament week! The match between the Italian Lorenzo Musetti and the Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo provided even more goosebump moments. After a lightning start from Musetti, who quickly secured a 5:0 lead, the South American found his game and the two fought a thrilling duel at eye level, in which Musetti finally won 6:3, 7:6 (7:3). Top favorite and crowd favorite Carlos Alcaraz also had to fight hard to win the first set in his semi-final match against Slovakian Alex Molcan, which he finally won in a tie-break. In the second set, the Spaniard increased his level and triumphed in the end 7:6 (7:2), 6:1.
DAY 9 Hamburg European Open
WITH CARLOS ALCARAZ AND LORENZO MUSETTI, THE “NEXT GENERATION” HIT A BREATHTAKING FINAL AT ROTHENBAUM, WHICH HAD EVERYTHING TO OFFER THAT MAKES THE TENNIS HEART BEAT FASTER AND ENDED THE HAMBURG EUROPEAN OPEN 2022 WITH A WORLD-CLASS FINISH…
What a match! This men’s final at Rothenbaum will go down in the history books – not only as the youngest ATP500 final to date, but certainly also as one of the most thrilling finals on the Center Court at Rothenbaum. 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz and 20-year-old Lorenzo Musetti fought a fascinating duel at world-class level over 2:46 hours. In front of around 8,000 tennis fans, both opponents started out a little nervous, but Lorenzo Musetti, for whom it was the first ATP final of his career, got his nerves under control faster, while Alcaraz made an unusual number of mistakes. Musetti not only delighted the audience with a lot of wit, but also consistently used his break chances and won the first set 6:4. In the second set, Musetti was initially ahead with a break, but in the decisive phase, Alcaraz ignited and fended off two match balls from the Italian. So it went into the tie-break, which Alcaraz turned after a 6:3 deficit to 6:8 and caused the stadium to tremble. Despite the equalizer, Musetti stayed cool in the third set and fought a gripping fight with Alcaraz with everything tennis has to offer. In the end, Musetti finally converted his sixth match point to 6: 4, 6: 7 (6: 8), 6: 4 and sank overwhelmed into the Hamburg sand. “We tried everything to give people the final they wanted,” said the newly crowned champion, who now climbs to number 31 in the world. “I think it really was the best match of my career.”
“I enjoyed every moment here. It was an indescribable atmosphere. First of all, I arrived here with no luggage and really never expected to win this tournament.”Lorenzo Musetti, Hamburg European Open Champion 2022
Tennis talk with LORENZO MUSETTI
…his role models:
“My idol as a child was Roger Federer, but my role model for the backhand is David Nalbandian.”
…his tournament week :
“If you don’t expect things, then they will happen. I arrived here without luggage and trained with Dusan Lajovic’s racquets in the first training session. You can imagine how well prepared I was. In addition, I almost had to play in the qualification, I wasn’t in the main draw at first. In the first round I had to fend off two match points. But tennis is like life. There are many ups and downs and you never know what’s going to happen next. Of course, I will never forget this week.”
…the final against Carlos Alcaraz:
“It was a real rollercoaster ride. We played fantastic tennis for three hours and did our best. There were so many ups and downs. I served to the match, was 6-3 up in the tie break but he kept coming back. When I lost the second set I thought it’s over now. But then I mobilized the last reserves, took all the risks and worked so hard. And hard work always pays off in the end. And now I am very happy to be the champion.”
…the key to victory:
“I think the key to winning the title was that I had a really strong mentality, a really strong attitude in every situation that I went through. You have to be strong, you have to stay calm, even if it’s not that easy.”
…his theme song for the tournament:
“There is a song called ‘Il meglio deve ancora venire’, which means ‘The best is yet to come’. I think I’ll definitely get that phrase tattooed to have a memory on my skin.”
Photos: © Hamburg European Open / Alexander Scheuber, © Hamburg European Open/ WITTERS, © @andreapetkovici/instagram, © NASCH Media