The Under-16 Mutua Madrid Open, a circuit that continues to grow and promote grass-roots tennis, now in its fifth year, once again gave the young talent of tennis the opportunity to play top-level heats all around Spain and to qualify for the final stage in the Caja Mágica, which will be played alongside with the last day of the Mutua Madrid Open, from 10 to 13 May 2018.
“Spanish tennis is going through a golden era with players like Rafa Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza, Pablo Carreño, Carla Suárez, Roberto Bautista and many others, who provide a source of inspiration to the juniors”, said Alberto Berasategui, director of the Under-16 Mutua Madrid Open. “Our responsibility is to give those young hopefuls the tools and tournaments with which they can develop their young careers. The Under-16 is a circuit that we run with a lot of affection and to play in the final stage is already one of the goals of all young Spanish players”.
After eight exciting months in which the Under-16 Mutua Madrid Open has travelled all around the Spanish territory for its 16 heats, the circuit held its final regional classification heat in Madrid. The sixteenth and final heat on the tour, played at Club de Campo Villa in Madrid, provided the finishing touches to an intense, vibrant and thrilling season, whose grand finale will take place in the Caja Mágica.
In its fifth year, the Under-16 Mutua Madrid Open comprises 16 heats played in 15 cities and includes a total of 480 matches. The 32 players that qualified will compete in the final stage, which takes place in the Caja Mágica and there they will do battle for the title and to receive the first prize together with the ATP and WTA champions. Last year, champions Jaime Caldés and Leyre Romero received their trophies from the hands of Rafa Nadal and Simona Halep.
“Having this kind of support is very important for training”, stated Miguel Díaz, president of the Real Federación Española de Tenis. “The work promoting grass-roots tennis is incredible and it allows the general public to find out about other kids who don’t yet form part of the elite. This year the circuit was a success again”.
This season, since Pablo Masjuan, Jorge Plans, Alejo Ferrer, Alejandra Ferrer, Jessica Bouzas and Olga Bienzobas managed to win two heats during the regional stage, another two players in the boys’ draw and three in the girls’ will play in the final stage thanks to the consistency ranking, which rewards the best players on the circuit who have not won a title. Therefore, Blanca Cortijo, Paola Moreno, Raquel Villán, Pol Otín, Xavier Matas and Guillermo Martín Nieto will also be in the Caja Mágica.
The Under-16 circuit was started in 2013 with 5 heats and in 2014 it grew to include 8 qualifiers around Spain. In 2016 the Mutua Madrid Open intensified its commitment to grass-roots tennis by expanding the circuit to 16 heats all over the Spanish territory.
LLEIDA: Max Alcalá and Alejandra Ferrer
OVIEDO: Oriol Fillat and Marta Torres
VALLADOLID: Mario González and Anne Mintegi
A CORUÑA: Mario Mansilla and Clarine Lerby
BILBAO: Jorge Plans González and María Martínez Vaquero
MURCIA: Héctor Talens and Jessica Bouzas
JAVEA: Pablo Llamas and Jessica Bouzas
MADRID – Ciudad de la Raqueta: Iñaki Montes and Alba Rey
ALMERIA: Pablo Alemany and Silvia Vargas
MALLORCA: Ángel Guerrero and María Berlanga
VALENCIA: Alejo Ferrer and Helen Pellicano
ZARAGOZA: Alejo Ferrer and Olga Bienzobas
PAMPLONA: Nicolás Herrero and Olga Bienzobas
BARCELONA: Jorge Plans and Alejandra Ferrer
SEVILLE: Pablo Masjuan and María Dolores Pérez
MADRID – CLUB DE CAMPO: Pablo Masjuan and Dami Edibson
*Players qualified through the consistency ranking: Blanca Cortijo, Paola Moreno, Raquel Villán, Pol Otín, Xavier Matas and Guillermo Martín Nieto.