VISITORS to this year’s Champions of Tennis tournament have been promised a full refund if they don’t see an hour’s play, after the event was dogged by bad weather last year.
The tournament is set to return to Stockbridge for a second year of “thrilling matches”, with stars already lined up to take part including former professionals such as Goran Ivanisevic and Henri Leconte to compete in what will be the second Scottish leg of the ATP Champions Tour.
Also returning for this year’s tournament is defending champion Thomas Enqvist of Sweden, who said he was looking forward to returning to the “fantastic” event.
And in a bid to reassure anyone buying tickets, organisers of the tournament have promised there will be no repeat of last year, where spectators who had paid up to £100 were left watching a washout when rain stopped play.
The cancellation of the event on Saturday, June 22, was made all the more controversial by the fact a £10,000 roof purpose-built for the event and billed as “weatherproof” was apparently not equipped to handle “sideways rain” – and that refunds for the cancelled event were not forthcoming.
Tournament Director Vicki Mendelssohn said “significant improvements” had been made to spectator facilities, coupled with changes to the refund policy.
“The roof canopy has been extended to give extra protection to the court should the weather turn wet again,” she said.
“We have also changed our policy to mean that this year if spectators see less than one hour of continuous play on the day they attend they will be entitled to a full refund.”
However, many of those who were not refunded after last year’s event are still making a racket on the event’s Facebook page, with some even saying they would be looking to settle the matter in an entirely different kind of court.
Leigh Stewart posted: “I sincerely hope the event is a disaster for you this year. I urge everyone to boycott it. It is absolutely disgusting that you refuse to refund last year’s Saturday tickets. I saw 20 minutes of tennis! How on earth is this helping anyone who didn’t get what they paid for last year? I am taking this matter to small claims court and I urge everyone else to do the same.”
Festival and events champion Councillor Steve Cardownie said: “Edinburgh has a worldwide reputation for staging some of the greatest cultural and sporting events and the return of the ATP Champions Tour will be another star fixture on the city’s summer calendar.
“Following the experience of the 2013 event, we will ensure spectators watch some of the greatest ever tennis players in action.”