As was expected, a former world no. 1 and 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber is the first player confirmed for the brand-new grass WTA Premier event in Berlin that will take place in June 2020. For three decades, the crowd in Berlin had the opportunity to watch some high-quality WTA tennis, with the German Open that was a part of the calendar between 1979-2008.
Chris Evert, Steffi Graf (nine titles in 11 years between 1986-96), Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Conchita Martinez, Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin and Ana Ivanovic had all won the title there, with Dinara Safina as the last champion in 2008.
After more than ten years, the world's leading players will travel to Berlin again in preparation for Wimbledon, taking the Premier status out of Birmingham that will go on in the same week. The Lawn Tennis Turnier Club Rot-Weiß in Berlin will celebrate the 125th anniversary in three years, with the organizers ready to give their best in gathering star-packed field for the first edition on the new surface, offering big prize money and points on Steffi-Graf Stadium.
The sporting director Markus Zoecke had to deal with serious problems at the famous but outdated club, renovating the stadium in 2015 and gathering legends like Michael Stich, Henri Leconte and Pat Cash before staging Davis Cup tie a year later.
After further improvements, the organizers started to think about getting back to the WTA Tour, meeting with Edwin Weindorfer in February and hoping to take the license from Mallorca and make a big comeback to the scene.
Wimbledon officials came to Berlin in April and the structure was set for the significant shift towards grass, with three main and three practice courts ready to change the color from red to green soon. Kerber is currently ranked 17th on the WTA list after a mediocre season, reaching the final at Indian Wells and Eastbourne and suffering some tough losses in the early rounds, unable to play on the level she produced in the previous season.