The brand new grass courts at the Bad Homburg Tennis Club were inaugurated on Saturday with former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, of Germany, taking part in a special match along with German Fed Cup captain Rainer Schüttler, German Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann, and German junior Mara Guth.
Angelique Kerber takes part in inauguration of the new grass courts at the Bad Homburg Tennis Club
Kerber, who was scheduled to play the event this year, partnered with Schüttler for a special mixed doubles match against 17-year old junior Mara Guth and Michael Kohlmann for the inauguration event.
The new grass courts were scheduled to be the venue for a new WTA International event this year but the inaugural edition of the Bad Homburg Open was postponed to 2021 due to the current tennis shutdown. The 2021 Bad Homburg Open is scheduled to take place from June 20 to June 26 and a new WTA event on grass in Berlin, which also got postponed this year, is also scheduled to be held next year.
According to the WTA Tour website, Kerber said it was a great feeling to play the first match on the new court. "This was definitely a very special feeling. In general, this great atmosphere at the Kurpark and, in particular, this beautifully laid-out grass court have increased the anticipation for next year’s premiere even more."
Tournament officials also announced that local favourites Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic have confirmed their participation for the event next year. While there were no fans in attendance for the match, there were some special guests at the event including the mayor of Bad Homburg, Alexander Hetjes; president of the German Tennis Federation Ulrich Klaus; president of the hosting club TC Bad Homburg, Uwe Eyles; president of the Homburg TG, Ralph Gotta; and president of the Hessian Tennis Federation (HTV), Kai Burkhardt.
Wimbledon chairman Ian Hewitt also joined the event virtually. The tournament organisers had used the help of Wimbledon grounds staff for the courts and also used grass seeds that were imported from Great Britain to try and match the surface being used in the grass court events in the United Kingdom.
Angelique Kerber is a former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner, including the 2016 Australian Open, the 2016 US Open and the 2018 Wimbledon Championships.