When one of the world’s most famous tennis clay courts is covered with tons of sand, that means it is time to play some beach volleyball at the Rothenbaum in Hamburg again. Next week, for the fifth time since 2016, the sport’s elite will gather at the iconic venue in the northern German city for a world-level tournament, the Beach Pro Tour Hamburg Elite16 from August 10 through 14.
Iconic clay court in Hamburg turns to sand again!
The Rothenbaum tennis venue is undergoing a makeover to welcome beach volleyball’s Elite16
Published 09:31, 04 Aug 2022
The Rothenbaum in Hamburg has been the home of the German Open tennis tournament on the ATP Tour since 1892, long before the current 10,000-capacity facility was built in 1999 and renovated in 2020. It also hosted four top-level beach volleyball events - the 2016 Hamburg Major on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 2017 and 2018 World Tour Finals and the sport’s premier competition, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2019 – and it will welcome yet another, an Elite16 tournament in this season's inaugural Beach Pro Tour.
Within a period of nine days, the stadium is again undergoing a makeover for the world's best beach volleyball players. Since Tuesday, 72 truckloads of the finest beach volleyball sand have been rolling into Hamburg. Around 1,000 tons are needed for the two competition courts and the warm-up court. After the tournament, that sand will be available to interested sports clubs from the region and their facilities.
One of the German women’s pairs who will compete at the Hamburg Elite16, Sandra Ittlinger and Isabel Schneider, were eager to test the new sand while it was still being unloaded. They look forward to playing at next week’s tournament in front of the home crowd at the Rothenbaum.
"I've already played two international tournaments here at the tennis stadium, and it has always been a great experience. Above all, the great support from the Hamburg audience is an important motivation for us," Isabel Schneider said.
Ittlinger and Schneider will open their Pool D campaign next Thursday with a match against the team that won the World Championship title at Hamburg 2019 three years ago, Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes.
"I've been living in Hamburg for a few months now and it will be my first home game at the Rothenbaum,” Sandra Ittlinger added. “I'm really looking forward to it."