STUTTGART, March 30, 2015
Two former Wimbledon champions will officially open the new grass Centre court on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the venue of the TC Weissenhof in Stuttgart. The Australian Pat Cash, who took the title of the most important tennis tournament in the world in 1987 winning the final against Ivan Lendl. He will meet the Croat Goran Ivanisevic, who won Wimbledon in 2001.
Cash, who has made a black and white checkered headband to his trademark, lost only one set on his way to his sole Grand Slam victory. The now 49-year-old defeated in his quarter-final Mats Wilander, in his semi-final Jimmy Connors as well as in the final Ivan Lendl without dropping a set. Cash is still very closely related to the sport of tennis, as he presents the magazine “Open Court” on TV news channel CNN.
After three final defeats in 1992 (against Andre Agassi), 1994 and 1998 (in each case against Pete Sampras), Goran Ivanisevic eventually fulfilled his dream of winning the Wimbledon title in 2001. In this particular year, the Croat fell behind in rankings to 125th position due to shoulder problems. Ivanisevic was granted a wild card to enter the main draw and took time by the forelock and overpowered Australian Pat Rafter winning 9-7 in the fifth set.
13 years later, Ivanisevic led his protégé Marin Cilic, who will play at this year’s Mercedes Cup as well, to claim the title at the US-Open in New York. Germany’s local hero Tommy Haas, world number 12 Feliciano López and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis have already joined this year’s entry list in Stuttgart.
“We are pleased that with Pat Cash and Goran Ivanisevic two Wimbledon champions will kick-off the matches on the new grass Centre Court at the Weissenhof. Both are still regularly on the court, so they have hardly lost their class. Therefore, the audience can look forward to watch a real tennis classic and a lot of other attractions on June 7, 2015 at the Mercedes Cup,” tournament director Edwin Weindorfer said.
“On June 7, finally a new era at the Mercedes Cup will begin and a bit of the Wimbledon flair can be also felt in Stuttgart,” added Weindorfer.
After switching from clay, the Mercedes Cup will be played on grass for the very first time this season. The tournament takes place from June 6 to June 14.