The Stuttgart ATP tournament (officially MercedesCup , formerly the International Weissenhof tournament ) is a grass tennis tournament that is held every year in June on the TC Weissenhof tennis facility in Stuttgart on the Killesberg . The tournament director is Edwin Weindorfer. Bernd Nusch had held the office for 33 years until 2006. The tournament was voted the world's best and most popular tournament of the year five times by the players on the ATP Tour .
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic , the tournament planned for June 6-14 , 2020 was canceled. The organizers are considering a move to a later date. Overall, the tennis associations WTA and ATP have suspended the grass season for June 2020.
The facility at the Weissenhof in Stuttgart was opened in 1914. The first international Weissenhof tournament was held in 1916. In 1978 the tournament became a member of the men's Grand Prix series. The tournament has been held as the Mercedes Cup since 1979. In 1990 it became a founding member of the ATP Championship Series, the predecessor of the Masters Series . The tournament is played with a 28-participant main field, whereby the four top-seeded players get a bye in the first round. Between 1990 and 2008 (except in 2002, when it was part of the ATP International Series ), the tournament was part of the ATP Championship Series or its successor, the ATP International Series Gold . The tournament has been part of the ATP World Tour 250 since 2009 .
Since the Wimbledon Championships have been taking place a week later since 2015 and thus an additional week before the Grand Slam tournament, the tournament has not been played on clay since then, but on grass in order to install it as a preparatory tournament for Wimbledon. It was hoped that this would create a more attractive field of participants and thus counteract the decline in attendance. Since 2015, the tournament has been played on grass immediately after the French Open .
Plant and audience
The TC Weissenhof facility comprises 18 open-air courts, 6 of which are grass courts, and three indoor courts. Four of the grass pitches will be used as match courts and two as training pitches during the tournament. The Center Court seats 6,500 spectators. During the tournament, around 250 employees (ball kids, line judges, guest service, hostesses, etc.) are responsible for ensuring that the tournament runs smoothly. In 2005, 52,000 spectators attended the tournament, in 2006 there were 47,000 spectators, in 2009 around 32,000. In 2014 the audience numbers rose to 44,000 for the first time. With the switch to grass, the organizers were able to achieve another significant increase in audience numbers (53,800) in 2015.
The total prize money has continued to decline in recent years. While it was $ 1 million by 2000, it was down to $ 800,000 in 2001 and $ 765,000 in 2003. The 2005 prize money was 614,750 euros; in 2006 it was reduced to 586,000 euros. In 2017 the prize money was 630,785 euros; the tournament winner received a Mercedes convertible in addition to prize money.
The record winner of the tournament is Rafael Nadal with three tournament victories (2005, 2007, 2015). Before the tournament was part of the tournament circuit, Ulf Schmidt also won the tournament three times between 1958 and 1962. In doubles, the Czech Tomáš Šmíd was the only player to win three times. The last German title holder in individual was Michael Stich in 1991.