“You’re listening to SetBall Radio, the official radio station of the Mutua Madrid Open”. This is now a familiar sound to all the fans that have been making their way through the corridors of the Caja Mágica for the last seven seasons. If there is one thing that has set this tournament apart, it is its desire to reach into the future, to embrace the cutting-edge and to blaze a trail for the rest to follow. It was a pioneer in having three courts with a retractable roof in 2009, an innovator with its revolutionary blue clay in 2012 and a trendsetter in 2013 when it became the first tournament in its category (ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory) to have a radio station, just as the Grand Slams do.
The venture was the brainchild of Antonio Arenas, now the Mutua Madrid Open’s Director of Communications, and a passionate group of professionals prepared to assert that one of the biggest sporting events in our country deserved a space on the airways. Everything started in a small stand on Level -2, but the project quickly grew to become what it is today; one of the tournament’s leading communication channels with a large space outside the Manolo Santana Stadium.
An attractive studio, overlooked by the huge screen where fans can watch the biggest matches every day (and listen to them on the radio), adorns the Caja Mágica’s commercial zone. From there we have experienced some of the most special moments in the tournament’s recent history, from Rafa Nadal’s fifth title after a thrilling final against Thiem, Kyrgios’ incredible victory over Federer (6-7, 7-6, 7-6), Pablo Andújar’s first semi-final in an ATP Masters 1000 and the spectacular ‘bagel’ Anabel Medina served up to Serena Williams in 2013.
But our radio station is not exclusive to fans who visit the tournament. Anyone can listen live from their home to everything that is happening on the clay courts and hear the opinions of the stars after the matches or from multiple figures from other sports and the world of gastronomy, music, film or even fashion who make the trip to the Madrid venue every year. All you have to do is download the app and hit play!
This year we promise to provide more passionate commentary than ever in a new excitement-packed edition of the Mutua Madrid Open. We will have, as always, the most important voices in our sport and specialist analysts, all under the watchful eye of David Blay, our director, whose baton will conduct the most recognisable symphony in the Caja Mágica.
By Javier Méndez