The inaugural edition was held at the 'Eisenbahnverein auf der Uhlenhorst' (Uhlenhorst Railway Club) and was played in a best-of-three sets format. From the second edition in 1893 onward the tournament was a best-of-five sets until 2007 when it reverted (like other non Grand Slam events) to a best-of-three sets final. The first five editions, from 1892 to 1896, were exclusively open to German and Austrian players. As far as categories goes, the tournament has been a Super 9, a Masters Series Event and now an ATP 500 tournament. And for the first time this year it has introduced a ladies one as well.
Andrey Rublev defeated Tsitsipas in the final last year, played in September due to the Covid-19 restrictions that freeze the calendar for half a year.
Stefanos Tsitsipas accepted a wildcard into the event and returns to a surface where he has had great success this year holding a great 22-4 record which sort of culminating with a loss from 2-0 sets up on Novak Djokovic in French Open final. He took that loss especially hard and didn’t have any sort of preparation for the Grass court season where he opted out of playing a single preparation event and directly went to compete at Wimbledon where he was surprised by Tiafoe in R1.
Nikoloz Basilashvili who has won the event 2 times in the past is Stefanos projected ¼ final opponent and the highest ranked player in his part of the draw. The Georgian went back-to-back in 2018 and 2019 in Rothenbaum before losing to Bautista Agut in R1 last year. He still has a blistering 12-2 record with +118.8 % ROI here and with being able to defeat top tier opposition such as Alex Zverev in 2019 SF is someone to look for to continue the trend despite his bad outing in many of the clay court events, he took part of this year.
Pablo Carreno Busta who is pretty reliable on that surface and is the 2nd seed of the event is someone I look forward to come out untouched from the bottom part of the draw. His clay court season went quite good actually and although he didn’t manage to win anything, apart from the Del Bonis loss in Madrid, he had always lost to superior opposition such as Nadal and Tsitsipas or inform players such as Ruud. His projected QF opponent is Albert Ramos but I am giving Pablo the edge with that 3-1 h2h wins in his favor.
Probably this is the first time in many months that the 4 top seeds are actually the ones that I really could see them competing in the SFs of the event. With that being said, I expect a Stefanos – Carreno Busta final with Stefanos winning the title and get some of his swagger back after the loss to Novak Djokovic. Apart from the favorites I really don’t see any sort of dark horses around to derail them to be honest and with the way Nikoloz has been performing with big outbursts, such as winning titles and then falling off a cliff next tournament, I am excited to see where Hamburg will fall in his very inconsistent yet fruitful year.