The Mercedes Cup of Stuttgart is one of the most historical tournaments on the ATP Tour. Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Michael Stich, Rafael Nadal and most recently Roger Federer feature on the champion's list and the Tournament Director Edwin Weindorfer hopes to have a great field for the next edition that will take place from 10 to 16 June 2019.
Denis Shapovalov and Gael Monfils are the first two players confirmed, and Weindorfer said he will meet Roger Federer and his management team at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next month to evaluate the Swiss's chances to play in Stuttgart for the fourth year in a row.
"We are in ongoing discussion", said Weindorfer in an interview to Stuttgarter Zeitung. Asked if Germany's hero Alexander Zverev, who competed in Stuttgart in 2013 and 2014 through a wild card, could potentially join Federer in the field, Weindorfer replied: 'We cannot afford Federer and Zverev', he admitted.
'I thought the amount he (Zverev) asked was not justified. All that lacks is a Grand Slam.' The Mercedes Cup has less than an €8 million budget. They can bring in one between Zverev, Federer or Rafael Nadal. Mercedes-Benz is the title sponsor, the contract with the brand will soon expire but Weindorfer is confident that the 40-year-old co-operation will continue.
"I think both parts are interested to keep forward. I want to improve the player's field with more money and furthermore improve the tournament's quality.' Federer won the 2018 title defeating Milos Raonic in a straight-set final. He also lost 2016 semifinals to Dominic Thiem and 2017 opening round to Tommy Haas.