ECKENTAL/STARNBERG, July 13, 2022
The Challenger Eckental, one of the most long-standing tournaments on the ATP Challenger Tour and one of only two indoor carpet events on the circuit, will not be held anymore. This was announced by the organizers on Wednesday. The tournament took place at the House of Sports in Eckental, a municipality in the district of Erlangen-Höchstadt, in Bavaria, Germany.
“After 27 years, the tournament has become a part of our ‘self’,” organizers Marcus Slany and Markus Giegold stated in a press release. “Thanks to all of our partners for their support, which helped us to create an extraordinary event for a quarter of a century. We love tennis and it has filled us with pride to run the Challenger tournament in Eckental for such a long time.”
Rainer Schüttler (1997), Ernests Gulbis (2006), Mikhail Youzhny (2015) and Sebastian Korda (2020) are some of players, who captured the title in Eckental. Daniel Masur succeeded last year. Rising costs, less support from the Federations, a lack of sponsors and the current economic crisis were mentioned as reasons for the decision to finish the tournament.
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Slany and Giegold, however, want to look ahead now and are currently involved in an innovative, timely event in the field of youth promotion. “For the tennis talents in our region and beyond, we want to set up an exciting tournament in a tie-break format. ‘Just a matter of nerves’ will be the motto in the House of Sports in the first week of November, when children and young people of different ages will fight for every point,” they said.
The idea is to create a new tournament series in this format, first in Bavaria and then – if possible – nationwide to provide competition, fun and excitement for young tennis players.