Italian ATP chariman Andrea Gaudenzi was number 18 in the world in February 1995. In his career he won three titles on the ATP Tour: Casablanca, Sankt Poelten and Bastad, but he also reached the final in six other ATP events and played in the round of 16 of the final at the Roland Garros 1998, defeated by Goran Ivanisevic in the fourth set.
Retired in 2003, Gaudenzi has held the position of president of the Association Tennis Professionals since 1st January 2020.
During a long and exhaustive interview granted to The Times, the Italian talked about the numerous difficulties experienced by the circuit during the pandemic and the unprecedented possibility in the history of our sport to organize a Masters 1000 event on grass.
Gaudenzi: “I made my proposal”
He said: “Personally, I’d love to have a Masters 1000 grass tournament in the Queen’s and Halle week, it’s something I’ve already pitched to interested parties and the rest of the ATP management.
I like the prospect of a strong Masters 1000 leading to Wimbledon. We have a Grand Slam on grass but not a Masters 1000, so it’s a topic that needs to be discussed. It could be a good opportunity to bring a great event back to the UK.”
The Queen’s Club Championships, played at the Queen’s Club in London on grass-court, is part of the ATP Tour 500. In the past, the French Open was played the following week, while since 2015 it has been played in the middle week of 3 which now separate Roland Garros from Wimbledon and is a preparation tournament for the London Slam. The Noventi Open, known from 1993 to 2018 as the Gerry Weber Open, is a tennis tournament that has been held annually in Halle since 1991 and has been a professional tournament since 1993. It is an alternative tournament to that of Queen’s in London, in preparation at Wimbledon.
This year, the grass season should include the ATP 250 rounds in Stuttgart, Mallorca, Eastbourne and Newport; the ATP 500s of the Queen’s and Halle as well as, of course, the Wimbledon Grand Slam.
We do not know if Gaudenzi’s proposal will ever take shape, but it must be admitted that the grass is actually the only surface of the Tour that has never had the opportunity to stage a Masters 1000, unlike the clay (Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome) and concrete (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal / Toronto, Cincinnati, Shanghai, Paris). In a few days the Mutua Madrid Open will begin, where the Serbian Novak Djokovic will defend the title, who won two years ago over the young Stefanos Tsitsipas in two sets.