What is the Swiss Indoors in tennis?

Switzerland’s biggest sporting event, the Swiss Indoors is held at Basel. Ever since its first inception in 1970, the tournament has had a fairly decent rise and is one of the most disciplined ATP 500 events on tour. It features a draw of 32 players in the main draw. A qualifying draw of 16 players acts as a passage for lower-ranked players to stand a chance to make it to the main draw.

The Swiss Indoors were staged for the first time in 1970 and the winner was awarded a wristwatch. It was Klaus Berger from Germany, who won the first ever Basel Open. After three successful years, which produced a new winner every year, the tournament was moved to Fiechtenhalle in Reinach, Germany. he seating capacity of this hall was 1.500.

In 1975, the tournament was moved to St. Jakobshalle, its current venue. The event also became a part of the Grand Prix Circuit. In a stunning final, it was the Czech player Jiri Hrebec, who stunned Illie Nastase in the finals. In 1977, the tournament was won by Bjorn Borg. This made the sport largely popular in Switzerland. In 1978, the tournament started a sponsorship scheme which gave free attendance to 3000 young players each year from then on. In 1980, yet another final took place wherein, Ivan Lendl defeated Bjorn Borg in 5 long sets.

A successful decade of play at the Swiss Indoors saw Ivan Lendl and Yannick Noah win the title twice and Stefan Edberg winning the title thrice. The seating capacity was raised to 8,500 by now.

2006 arrived and a native of Basel, who served as a ball boy in the event won the event for the first time. Roger Federer defeated Fernando Gonzalez to win his maiden title at the Swiss Indoors. This was also the last year when the event was held on carpet. The next two years which saw a change of turf to hard courts were also dominated by Federer who defeated Jarko Nieminen and David Nalbandian with a similar scoreline of 6-3 6-4 in the finals.

Two major changes took place in 2009. The event was promoted to be a part of the ATP 500 tournaments and Davidoff ended its sponsorship for Swiss Indoors. This year also confirmed Swiss Indoors as the third largest Indoors tournament after Paris and Shanghai. In 2011, the courts were turned blue, replicating the ATP World Tour Finals. In 2012, Juan Martin Del Potro defeated Federer in the finals. The attendance in the match was a record 72,200.

The winner of Swiss Indoors takes away a glimmering trophy and a prize money of €2,276,105 as of 2023. Federer is the most successful player at the event, winning a record ten titles. Tomas Smid, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic have won the doubles title four times each.

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