Sure, announcing Daniil Medvedev as the first player for next years ABN Amro tennis tournament makes Richard Krajicek proud. However, he is even more proud of the message behind it in coronation time.
“What we really want to say is, were going ahead. And we think thats very cool”, says the director of the tournament in Rotterdam. A few weeks ago he made the decision. Only the government can still keep the event out of Ahoy.
Krajicek: “Were now planning on a third of the normal line-up. Instead of about 10,000 visitors per session there is now room for 3,500 spectators. Hopefully itll be a nice tennis party.”
Safe, responsible and atmospheric. Those are the key words. “Safe and responsible is easy, thats following the guidelines,” says Krajicek. “Atmospheric is up to us. Although there is less audience, people have to come to a fun event. Thats what were thinking.”
Which players are coming?
The turnover of the tournament will be lower than normal and so will the player budget. Krajicek doesnt worry if he can get enough appealing names.
“The players are now very happy to play again. Just look at the Kitzbühel tournament. Last year they had a player from the top twenty and now ten. We also have to wait and see how many tournaments there are in February and how much competition we have.”
With Medvedev, Ahoy is assured of the Russian current number five of the world and quarterfinalist at the US Open. “On his own he cant wear the tournament, but with some more players of that calibre we have a nice tournament. We hope so.”
What about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic? Krajicek: “Its a weird time, I just dont know. Youre always looking at them with a slanted eye. It depends on the budget and which players join us.”
Beautiful canvases at US Open
Krajicek also looks with a slanted eye at the US Open these days, where no public is allowed yet. “Theyve got nice canvases along the track,” he says cynically. “No, I have to say that if you see the games on television, its not so bad.”
And about Djokovics disqualification: “Very unfortunate for him, but its just the rules. There was no other decision than this.”