Andrea Petkovic has given the Berlin grass court venue for next month’s exhibition event a test drive, with the World No. 87 pronouncing herself more than satisfied with the layout.

The episode was filmed by TV as part of a feature as planning for the men’s and women’s event set for July 13-19 starts to fall into place.

With tennis paused until early August and the closed-down sport in chaos due to positive COVID-19 tests from players at Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Balkan roadshow, the Berlin tournament will be on guard concerning its safety regulations.

Besides the grass of the Steffi Graf Stadium – which was to have been the scene of a new WTA pre-Wimbledon tournament this summer – the Berlin event will also comprise matches inside a hangar at the capital’s Tempelhof Airport.

“The stadium looks super cool with grass. If I let the space work for me, then it’s all good,” Petkovic said.

“With the prospect of finally being able to play competitive tennis in Berlin in mid-July after the long break, training is also really fun. 

“It’s a very special challenge to compete on grass and then switch to hardcourt inside the hanger.”

Joining her on court will be a pair of WTA Top 10 players in No. 5 Elina Svitolina and seventh-ranked Kiki Bertens; also along are double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Germany’s 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist Julia Görges. 

“Berlin will show where I stand in comparison to the competition,” Petkovic said.,

The overall field will comprise six women and six men, with Australian Open finalist and ATP No. 3 Dominic Thiem plus seventh-ranked German, and Aussie Nick Kyrgios heading the field.

Teenaged Italian Jannik Sinner and 42-year-old retired former great Tommy Haas are representing either end of the sport’s age spectrum.

The no-fans event will begin on the grass and switch over to the hardcourt for the wrapup matches. Prize money is pegged at EUR 100,000 each for men and women.


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