The Mutua Madrid Open is one of the most important tournaments on both the male and female circuits today. It has been held in the Spanish capital since 2002 and was originally a male only competition played indoors and on hard court. However, in 2009 it opened its doors to the WTA circuit and changed to an outdoor clay competition. It is played in May just before the second Grand Slam of the season, Roland Garros, in the top class setting of the Caja Magica. Since the tournament was revamped it is now a Masters 1000 event in the men’s category and a Premier event in the women’s, placed only behind the Grand Slams in terms of precedence.
Since then the men’s Masters 1000 tournament and the women’s Premier tournament are just one category below a Grand Slam. The Mutua Madrid Open is the second most important clay competition in the world, and in 2012 was the only competition played on blue clay. It will return to the traditional red clay in 2013 though.
A glance at some of the names to have won the ATP title here in previous years points to the prestige of the tournament, with six world number ones being crowned champion in the Spanish capital: Andre Agassi, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer is the most celebrated player here with three titles, Nadal has won twice, although he is still some way off Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won the doubles competition on four occassions. After consecutive three finals against Nadal (2009, 2010 and 2011), Federer won last year’s tournament by seeing off Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
The female competition meanwhile has only been played four times, however, of the eight players to reach the finals, five of them have led the WTA rankings e trophy.er-up that year, as she did in 2012 against Serena Williams who capped off a dream week in the tournament by lifting t Dinara Safina, Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams. Petra Kvitova, for her part, lifted the title in 2011 and since then has seen her career rise meteorically, winning Wimbledon and the WTA Championships, as well as being voted WTA player of the year. Azarenka came runner-up that year, as she did in 2012 against Serena Williams who capped off a dream week in the tournament by lifting the trophy.