Tournament Heritage: Munich
Cristian Garin is the reigning champion at the BMW Open by FWU in Munich, where plenty of superstars have left their mark.
The tournament would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to coronavirus. Learn more about the ATP 250, from the former World No. 1s who have triumphed in Munich to the home favourites thrilling the German fans.
1) The Event Dates Back To 1900
The International Tennis Championships of Bavaria was first held in 1900, but the BMW Open by FWU was first staged at Munich’s Iphitos Tennis Club in 1974. Germans have won the singles trophy nine times since then.
The BMW Open by FWU is the first of four German tournaments on the season’s ATP Tour calendar, contested in Bavaria’s picturesque capital city of Munich. Centre Court seats 3,800, making for an intimate atmosphere to watch some of the best players in the world.
2) Three World No. 1s Have Lifted The Trophy
Three players who reached No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings have lifted the Munich title. The first to do so was Ivan Lendl. He played this tournament twice — towards the end of his career — but he made the most of his visits to Munich. Lendl won the title in 1993, defeating International Tennis Hall of Famer Michael Stich in the championship. That year, Stich won six ATP Tour crowns, the most in a season during his career.
Roger Federer only competed in Munich once, in 2003, but he made it count, lifting the trophy without losing more than four games in a set. Andy Murray emerged victorious at the ATP 250 in 2015, claiming his first tour-level clay-court title.
3) Kohlschreiber’s Magic In Munich
No player has won more matches or titles in Munich than German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. Now 36, Kohlschreiber holds a 35-12 record in Munich, earning just short of $500,000 at this event. Seven of his victories at his home tournament have come against Top 20 opponents.
Kohlschreiber holds the record for most Munich singles titles with three, including his first ATP Tour trophy in 2007. He also has made three additional finals, losing to Tommy Haas (2013), Murray (2015) and Alexander Zverev (2018).
4) Zverev’s Home Breakthrough
Alexander Zverev won his first match in Munich in 2015, just after his 18th birthday, and it has been a successful tournament for him since.
The German star made the semi-finals in Munich at the ages of 19 and 20, before finally breaking through for his maiden triumph on home soil in 2017. Zverev battled through a third-set tie-break against countryman Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals and he did not look back, beating Roberto Bautista Agut and Guido Pella to clinch the title.
“I lost the final in Halle last year (to Florian Mayer), which was very painful. I really wanted to win a tournament in Germany, which I’ve done now and I’m very happy about it,” Zverev said at the time. “[It is] my first title on clay as well. It’s a great feeling right now.”
Zverev followed that up by winning his second consecutive Munich title in 2018, defeating Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match to lift the trophy.
5) Haas’ Breakthrough
The 10th try was the charm for former World No. 2 Tommy Haas in Munich.
Haas first competed in the event in 1998, but it took him until 2013 to lift the trophy. The German reached the final in Munich in 2000, just after turning 22, defeating then-World No. 9 Thomas Enqvist in the semi-finals. But he wouldn’t reach the final for another 13 years.
In what would end up being the penultimate championship run of his career, Haas beat Ernests Gulbis, Florian Mayer, Ivan Dodig and Kohlschreiber to triumph in front of his home fans. Munich was the third German city where Haas emerged victorious, adding to titles in Stuttgart (2001) and Halle (2009, 2012). He tallied a 21-11 record in Munich.