The Kitzbuhel Open has been on the ATP Tour for many years. The event is able to build a good field on every edition, but they were never able to bring one between Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Those players usually ask high appearance fees when ATP 250s and 500s approach them to compete in.
In an exclusive interview to Tennis World USA, the Kitzbuhel Tournament Director Alex Antonitsch commented on their topic. "You know tennis and how much it takes to get Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in Kitzbuhel. We tried twice.
One, when Federer changed his racket and wanted to play clay tournaments and he played in Gstaad and Hamburg. Then the second, when Nadal wanted to play more tournaments and he eventually competed only in Hamburg. There was a very small chance for us, but these guys only play little events only in their country, or in Doha, Brisbane, or if Roger needs an extra grass-court tournament in Stuttgart.
We are not holding our tournament to bring them, because we know it's almost impossible", he said. Did the Kitzbuhel event ever get close to disappear from the ATP Tour calendar? "Just once, in 2010. It was the first year where Dominic played.
But then the event owner realized this tournament could not disappear and they kept it." Last year Philipp Kohlschreiber got married a few hours after he lost his match in Kitzbuhel, on the same day. "It was surprising, we did not know it. We learned it only afterwards. He did not play as he used to that year but sometimes that happens."