Roger-Federer-Allee officially inaugurated

Federer: "Now I will always be in Halle." Tournament director Ralf Weber: "He was and is a great ambassador for the tournament." Mayor Anne Rodenbrock-Wesselmann speaks of a “proud moment“ for the city.

“It is a great honour for me that a street is named after me,” said the 30-year-old Swiss. “In Switzerland and Austria I have a stamp. The street is something you can only hope for and it’s kind of surreal when it happens. I’m overjoyed to be forever linked to a tournament like here in Halle, not only through the victories but also beyond.  That really makes me happy for the fans, for the tournament and for myself it is a great honour. Therefore, I am happy to come back in the next years and always be welcome. That is very pleasant.”

As a tennis player, he had a contract with the Gerry Weber until the end of his career – a "life time contract". But as of 11 June 2012, it's clear that Roger Federer will remain part of the city of Halle Westfalen and their great ATP tournament for well past his active playing days. At exactly 4:05 p.m. on first day of the main field at the 20th edition of the tournament, Roger-Federer-Allee was inaugurated near the event arena and the Sportpark Hotel. "Now I will practically always be here" said the visually emotional world tennis star, who took part in the ceremony along wtih tournament director Ralf Weber and Halle mayor Anne Rodenbrock-Wesselmann. The 16-time Grand Slam winner admitted it's an "unbelievablely big honor that now a street in Germany is named after me", Federer already has his likeness printed on stamps in his homeland Switzerland as well as Austria. "The Germans were really a step ahead of the Swiss."

Tournament director Ralf Weber held a speech in front of dozens of media representatives and a few hundred spectators, calling Federer a "great ambassador for the tournament" and a "fan favourite who very quickly captured the hearts of the fans." Weber continued: "The people here simply love Roger, his natural manner and his confident demeanour. We are happy that we could name this street after him." Mayor Anne Rodenbrock-Wesselmann emphasized that the city is proud "that we now have such a famous street by us. Everyone is proud of this."

The transportation committee of the city of Halle on 3 May gave the unanimous green light for the request from the Gerry Weber Management & Event OHG to re-name the Stichstraße road into Roger-Federer-Allee. Tournament spokesman Frank Hofen reasoned the move with the fact that Federer changed the plans of other players after his titles in 2003 in Halle and Wimbledon. Thanks to Federer, Halle was able to establish itself more and more as a successful and valuable preparation tournament for the Grand Slam competiiton.

The only address changes will be within the GERRY WEBER OPEN family. Greenkeeper Phil Thorne's house will now have the address Roger-Federer-Allee 1 while the event centre is at Roger-Federer-Allee 2. The GERRY WEBER STADIUM is located at Roger-Federer-Allee 4 and the hotel at Roger-Federer-Allee 6.

Date: 11.06.2012, Source: Gerry Weber Open


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