Players such as Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Fernando Verdasco and Victoria Azarenka and officials such as Manolo Santana, the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco, the president of Mutua Madrileña Ignacio Garralda and the tournament’s advisor Ion Tiriac, were all present at an event which marked the opening of the 2013 edition.
Tennis has returned to Madrid, and it has done so in style. The 2013 Mutua Madrid Open was officially presented at an event in the Tennis Garden which was attended by some key figures, some of whom will play a lead role over the next ten days at the Caja Mágica.
An event which was hosted by Antonio Arenas, who will be the voice of the tournament’s official radio station, inaugurated the 12th edition of a tournament which has now become a classic on Madrid’s sporting calendar and a benchmark for world tennis, as mentioned in the speeches given by the officials present.
As well as the tournament’s director Manolo Santana, the event was attended by the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco, the president of Mutua Madrileña Ignacio Garralda and the tournament’s advisor Ion Tiriac, whom everyone thanked for having chosen Madrid in around 2002 to host a Masters 1000 tournament.
They were joined at the event by last year’s finalists, Victoria Azarenka and the defending champion and world number 1 Serena Williams, the Spaniard Anabel Medina, and five of the best players on the ATP tour, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, two-time winner of the Mutua Madrid Open, his countrymen Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco, and Canadian Milos Raonic, one of the most talented players.
“It is hugely exciting for me to be here presenting this tournament. If they had told me 15 years ago that there would be a tournament of this stature here in Madrid I would not have believed it. I am very proud to be the director of this great event”, tournament director Manolo Santana stated in his speech.
The 2005 and 2010 champion Rafa Nadal also had high praise for the tournament. “Thank you all very much for being here and supporting tennis. As Spaniards we are always particularly excited about competing on home soil and this is our flagship event, the most important and highest ranking tournament Spain has created and we will all work together to ensure that the tournament continues to grow”, said the Majorcan player.
All the players present also took to the stage, and all of them and the officials present showed their unanimous support for Madrid’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2020, something for which Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, was extremely grateful in his speech.
The 2013 Mutua Madrid Open is now underway, the only thing missing at the Caja Mágica is the sound of ball on racquet; it will first be heard at 12:00 midday on Friday.