For a long time there has been talk of an ATP Masters 1000 on grass-court, the only surface on which a tournament of this category has not yet been played. In the past it was proposed to make the Queen’s London or Halle tournament in Germany in this category, but for now they have remained ATP 500.
Grass tournaments are the most difficult to organize due to cost and maintenance, so only the most exclusive clubs still host them. Also, the grass-swing is the shortest: tournaments on this surface can only be held between late spring and early summer.
Andrea Gaudenzi gave a long interview to L ’Equipe during which he talked about many issues, including a possible Masters 1000 on grass-courts. He said: “Uniting men and women would make our product stronger. Because tennis is unique. We are the only sport with a very strong female product. We have 50% male and 50% female fans.
We would like to organize Masters 1000, the only events where you are sure to have the strongest besides the Slams, over two weeks, with 96 draws, for men and women together. Exactly modeled on Indian Wells and Miami. The Grand Slams are the backbone of the game, they are magnificent and untouchable. But the gap between them and the Masters 1000 is too great. “
Gaudenzi: “Only England or Germany can host a grass Masters 1000”
On the year schedule he explained: “One week we have a Masters 1000, then three ATP 250s, the week after a WTA event, then a Grand Slam. Apart from the most hardcore, everyone gets confused. But if the fan gets confused, will look for something else.
Studies show that 70-80% of people only watch Premium events and these people are the most important. They are the ones who buy tickets and subscribe to TV. Optimizing the Masters 1000 does not mean sacrificing others tournaments. There will always be a space for them, adapting the schedule in a coherent way. “
In the conclusion of the interview, he talked about a possible grass-courts ATP Masters 1000: “For me it can only be organized in England or Germany. In England because there is Wimbledon. In Germany because it is a big market for tennis. First we have to choose the city. Then we find a structure, which means building a stadium or having one that is suitable. “