Stuttgart’s high-profile decision to transform their ATP World Tour 250 event from clay to grass by 2015 can only serve to increase competition at the Wimbledon Championships a week before the famous Grand Slam begins.
News surfaced on Betfair last week of Stuttgart’s decision to chance their event’s surface as they take advantage of an extended gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
The Mercedes Cup has for years sat after Wimbledon, as it struggled to contend with a place on the ATP Tour before the French Open, and is useless in between the two majors when players switch to grass.
The big names have often been too exhausted to play in the dull clay event. The last real champion to win in Stuttgart was Rafael Nadal in 2007 and, since then, the calibre of champion has decreased somewhat.
A switch was therefore necessary and has been welcomed on all sides of the ATP, for grass events are severely under represented on the tour. After Roland Garros, players have just two of four tournaments to choose from in order to adjust to the new surface and many are still unfamiliar with their footing come round one at Wimbledon.
A grass Stuttgart probably won’t affect the ATP’s elite band of players but it will afford those lower down the ranks valuable time and space to adjust to the new surface.
Another grass event before the Championships can only increase the competition on show and Wimbledon betting fans can be more confident of the odd upset here and there.
(article courtesy of Betfair.com)