Barbara Rittner, the Head of Women's Tennis at the German Tennis Federation, says that she will not depend on the nostalgia factor when it comes to the new women's tennis tournament in Berlin where she is the Tournament Director, according to Sueddeutsche.
46-year-old Rittner, who is also the captain of the German Fed Cup team, says, "I approach this task with great humility because we must not forget that we no longer have Steffi Graf. She shaped this tournament, she founded her era there.
We have to distance ourselves from the past and create something new." The tournament, which will be played on grass, takes place from June 13 to June 21 next year at the LTTC Rot-Weiß facility which has a 7,000 seat stadium named after the German tennis legend Graf.
The tournament was played on clay until 2008 and Graf holds the record for the most number of titles won there - with 9 titles. Rittner says, "Berlin has a great international flavor, which we will see in the field of participants.
It is important for Germany to have a big tournament in the capital." The top two German players Angelique Kerber and Julia Gorges have already signed up to play and Rittner hopes former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki will also get back to full fitness and be able to compete in the tournament.
"If she can get herself back into competitive shape, she is, of course, a candidate for a wildcard. We want to give her time to make the connection. But the combination Lisicki - Rasen - Berlin sounds very promising for a comeback."