© Pascal Bitz / Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open 2017
“BANQUE ERIC STURDZA GENEVA OPEN”
Twenty-four years without tennis, in a city that applauded the world’s greatest champions between 1980 and 1991!
Almost a quarter century without tennis in the second city of a country that won 28 Grand Slam singles titles thanks to Martina Hingis, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka between 1997 and 2018!
The organisation of a new major tennis tournament in Geneva sounded obvious.
Two men understood this perfectly: Ion Tiriac and Rainer Schüttler.
The promoter of the Madrid Masters 1000 and the former German champion did not hesitate in autumn 2014 when it was a question of “transferring” the Düsseldorf tournament to another city.
In Geneva, the two men found the authorities ready to commit themselves fully to their cause and, of course, a magnificent setting with the facilities of TC Geneva at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
Few tournament venues can offer such an environment.
Ion Tiriac and Rainer Schüttler still had a big challenge ahead of them: to convince a great player to invest himself fully in this new tournament in order to give credibility to the tournament.
Stan Wawrinka responded enthusiastically to the two men’s call to quickly take on the role of tournament ambassador.
Stan Wawrinka really gave of himself so that this tournament could grow very quickly.
He simply won it twice, in 2016 and 2017. You will remember that the first edition of the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open tournament was won by the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in 2015.
With Stan Wawrinka of course, but also Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, David Ferrer and Kevin Anderson, the first three editions of the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open tournament featured two winners and three finalists of a Grand Slam tournament.
This year, David Goffin, the finalist of the last Masters and today’s the top-ranked Francophone player at the ATP, will be one of the big headliners of the tournament.
The game of the Liégeois suits the clay perfectly. His two-handed backhand, praised on many occasions by Roger Federer, is one of best on the circuit.
The sporting and popular success of the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open tournament has also been noticed by the ATP.
In 2017, the governing body awarded it the “Most Improved European Tournament of the Year” award.
This distinction brings new responsibilities to Ion Tiriac, Rainer Schüttler and their team: perpetuating excellence.
With the 250 label, the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open tournament faces fierce competition. Indeed, players are not forced to play in a 250 tournament while the Masters 1000 and ATP 500 remain essential for the best players.
That is why the infrastructure, hospitality and transportation is crucial to the success of a tournament. Fortunately, all the players who have come to Geneva over the past three years are unanimous.
In their eyes, this tournament is one of the most attractive of the year. It offers them a unique experience: sometimes being serenaded on the central by tweeting birds !