Everyone who comes here finds something special in the city of Madrid. Its people, its history, its gastronomy, its hospitality… They all make the Spanish capital a unique place in the world. Likewise, the Mutua Madrid Open has managed to utilise these strengths to make it a unique tournament on tour. Thus, year after year, it hosts the best players on the world tour, none of whom are willing to miss their date with the Caja Mágica.
“It’s a very special event for me”, says the current world number 4 and defending champion of the tournament, Alexander Zverev, and with good reason. As last year’s winner, the German already knows what it is to lift the Ion Tiriac Trophy. “I’ve won the title here so I love it, I like everything. The fans here are always good to me. The playing conditions are always good and playing on centre court is always very special”.
And he’s not the only one full of praise for the Spanish fans. “It’s very nice to receive the warmth of the people in this city. It’s something that makes the tournament spectacular” notes Del Potro, who is hoping to turn a page in Madrid and leave behind the injuries that have barely allowed him to compete this season.
The geographic peculiarities of Madrid are also very well received on tour. “I love the conditions in Madrid, the altitude, the low humidity… It’s a clay tournament with very fast courts. I feel great when I come here and I’m happy to be back”. And why wouldn’t he be? Dominic Thiem has played in the last two finals in the Caja Mágica and, having won his “biggest title on clay” in Barcelona, he is hoping it will be third time lucky in Madrid.
“It’s a spectacular tournament. I like the playing conditions and I’ve always have good results in Madrid”, reiterates ‘Delpo’, aware that the ball flies much faster in the Spanish capital than at your regular clay tournament.
But if there’s one thing that every player agrees with, it’s that Madrid and the Mutua Madrid Open have the best food of all. “Something that’s really special here for me is, without a doubt, the food!” states Thiem, boasting of how well he eats when he comes to Madrid. And it sounds like Nishikori does too: “I’m always very happy to come to Madrid. I love Spain. I really enjoy the restaurants in Madrid because I love Spanish food”. But it’s ‘Delpo’ who manages to sum it up perfectly: “It’s one of the best tournaments in the world, where we are at ease with the city, the food… All of this makes it a very classy tournament”.