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By Erik Gudris

The ATP Board of Directors has approved the request of the MercedesCup in Stuttgart to switch to a grass court event starting in 2015. The tournament, now played on clay, hopes to take advantage of the upcoming shift in the overall ATP Tour schedule in two years that will add an extra week between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Stuttgart will now join Queen's Club in London, Halle, Eastbourne and ‘s-Hertogenbosch as part of a group of grass court events leading up to Wimbledon.

“The ATP is pleased to confirm that the request by the MercedesCup in Stuttgart to move to a grass court event in the week after Roland Garros from 2015 has been approved by the ATP Board of Directors. The MercedesCup in Stuttgart presented an extremely thorough application and we have full confidence that they will deliver a high-level ATP grass court event in the lead up to Wimbledon," said Brad Drewitt, ATP Executive Chairman and President.

Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of the All England Club, said:  “The three-week gap will create a longer grass court season between the French Open and Wimbledon, allowing the players more time to recover from the demands of playing at Roland Garros and then to prepare for The Championships. We are delighted to welcome the MercedesCup as a very important first step in building this exciting new extension to the grass court game."

The Stuttgart tournament began in 1898 with Mercedes-Benz becoming a title sponsor in 1979. Janko Tipsarevic won last year's event.