International German Junior Championships started in 1977

The “International German Junior Championships” were created in 1977 by the German Tennis Federation, and at that time they were “distributed” evenly among the two already existing, most important German junior tournaments. They were supposed to take place alternately in Berlin and in Mönchengladbach. Already during the first years this did not work very well, mainly because of the political situation in the divided Germany. The whole Eastern Bloc refused to take part in the “German Internationals” in Berlin and insisted on the “Three State Theory”, stating that Berlin was not an integral part of the Federal Republic of Germany. They therefore boycotted the events in Berlin. Consequently the quality of the field of participants in 1978 and 1980 in Berlin could not compare with Mönchengladbach, and the German Tennis Federation concentrated its junior tournament in Mönchengladbach from 1981 on, where it was held successfully until 1996. From 1997 on the ETUF Essen took over and could convince the tennis world not only with the beautiful grounds on Lake Baldeney but also with an outstanding support and organisation.

In addition to Boris Becker and Steffi Graf there were a number of superb tennis players appearing on the winners’ lists of the “German Junior Open”, e.g. Ivan Lendl, the first winner in 1977, and Michael Westphal, who won the championship in age group 16 and under in 1981. The age group 16 and under was not played at the tournaments after 1985.

At the end of the year 2008 Essen decided not to hold and arrange the championships in future years. At that point the German Tennis Federation had no host for the most important German junior tournament. It was a precarious situation and the LTTC „Rot-Weiss“ pitched in. Independent of this unforeseeable development the LTTC „Rot-Weiss“ had intended to upgrade its Berlin junior tournament anyway. The aim had initially been to achieve the higher ranking of a “Grade 3” tournament, which has now, since 2009, turned into a spectacular “Grade 1” tournament. The LTTC „Rot-Weiss“ will endeavour to meet and enlarge the standard of quality that has been set by Essen and Mönchengladbach.

Concerning the decision to award the “International German Junior Championships” to Berlin and the LTTC “Rot–Weiss”, it should be mentioned that „Rot-Weiss“ only offered to take over the tournament after Essen had resigned as host and the DTB had had no other options to hold the most important German junior tournament.