FABIAN BIMMER/Associated Press
From 1990-2008, Hamburg was part of the ATP Super 9 series and transitioned this role to that of a Masters 1000 tournament. It hosted superstars as one of the power tournaments preceding the French Open. Those glory years provided some great tennis, and it was certainly one of the clay-court highlights for Swiss legend Roger Federer.
Federer, like everyone else on clay, had been victimized by rival Rafael Nadal's record-shattering 81-match winning streak on this surface. He had also lost the 2005 French Open semifinal and the 2006 French Open final, among other matches. But on the faster clay surface at Hamburg, Federer was the one to break Nadal's streak and claim his own case for winning the 2007 French Open.
"It's absolutely a breakthrough. It will be interesting to see how we both react in the French Open," Federer told BBC Sport. "For me it's just nice to be playing well again. I'm feeling very good going into the French Open."
The key was Federer's aggressiveness after dropping the first set, 6-2. "I returned better and I served better and I was dictating play," Federer explained in ESPN after dominating the final two sets 6-2, 6-0. Meanwhile, Nadal sputtered with several uncharacteristic errors, often missing the court or leaving the ball short for Federer's attack.
What did it mean for the French Open? Not much at all, except perhaps to arouse Nadal. He cruised to his third consecutive title at Roland Garros with Federer taking the defeat in the final.
The years have passed, and Hamburg's great tournament is fading into the archives of trivial notes and halcyon memories. With that it could still be super relevant.