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From Agassi to Alcaraz, 20 years of the Mutua Madrid Open, a tournament that continues to grow

From Agassi to Alcaraz, 20 years of the Mutua Madrid Open, a tournament that continues to grow

The women’s competition is already underway, with the men’s draw starting this Monday with eight ‘top ten’. Nadal will return, Djokovic will return and Alcaraz will

Agassi, 2002 champion, in action.

When Andrew Agassi won the first edition of the then ordinary Madrid Masters, Carlos Alcarazu He was still two years and seven months away from being born. Two decades have passed since the capital’s Masters 1000, a tournament whose women’s draw began last Thursday and whose men’s draw begins this Monday. The List of Champions testifies to the weight of a tournament that, from its strategic location in the clay season, has been virtually infeasible for players, starting in 2009, the year it moved to the Magic Box to become a combined tournament. . of both circuits. where did it go big Three Sum of more than half of the titles disputed so far: Five won Nadalthree federer and many more Djokovic,

Even at the first stage, indoors, at the Madrid Arena, in October, the event quickly caught on among fans and there were always great posters. The first final suffocated, which could not be played due to injury Jiri Nowaki, I was left alone in an anecdote. next year he will win John Charles FerreroAlmost recently invested as the No. 1 in the world, in 2004 it will take Marat Safin and would be Nadal’s first win in 2005, after lifting two unfavorable sets. Ivan Ljubicic, The victory went on for Mallorcan, who discovered the loss of Müller-Weiss syndrome and spent four months off the pitch.

Ion Tiriac A tournament that passed through Stockholm, Essen and Stuttgart was brought to Madrid. The former Romanian player and tycoon had the immediate support of the City Council and put manolo santana, Always in memory, the Spanish tennis pioneer, who passed away on 11 December, returns once again to the hearts of fans and those of us who have watched him with confusion at each edition. also as Honorary Chairman, relieved by Feliciano Lopez In management, he watched matches live and attended players’ press conferences, always receiving their love. Santana left us, and Tiriac withdrew the rights to the tournament in favor of world gaming giant IMG. Marketing game.

Controversy over ‘wild card’

We are in the first version of a new phase which started with some problems due to the designation wild cardPlayers invited by the organization. Carlos Gimeno It is the only Spanish to have had this privilege, given that IMG has chosen its own interests as a representation company. ferdinand verdasco, 38 years old, 118 in the world today, I am badly fit to not be one of the chosen ones. The left-hander, who has won seven ATP titles, says that I am Madrid’s best player in the last 17 years.

Verdasco reached its peak in the tournament in 2012, when he reached the quarter-finals with his first win against Nadal. It was the year of the blue earth, a singular idea from Tiriac who was about to lead a horde of elite players, with Nadal at the fore, and it caused more than one headache for everyone. Charles Moy, then liaison with the assistant manager and tennis players. After a decade, hardly anyone remembers this. Nor has Rafael Nadal, who was initially reluctant to change tournament dates due to Madrid’s heightening a few weeks before Roland Garros, has chosen to make a comeback this time around after a rib injury at Indian Wells.

This will be the biggest highlight, although on occasion he himself has healthy competition from Alcaraz and Djokovic, who return to Madrid when the echoes of the refusal to vaccinate against covid and not a very engaging episode have yet to be extinguished . Acted in Open of Australia.

Daniil Medvedev You Matteo Berrettiniboth injured, only those who are absent top ten, Three weeks before the start of Roland Garros, and only between the weight tests before the big clay event with the Masters 1000 in Rome (from 16 to 22 May), the draw suggests strong feelings. Nadal and Alcaraz could face off in the quarterfinals. A hesitant Djokovic turns around, forced to react if he wants to meet any of them in the semi-finals.

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Victoria June