The Madrid Open Faces An Uncertain Future As Nadal Takes The Diplomatic Route - UBITENNIS
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The Madrid Open Faces An Uncertain Future As Nadal Takes The Diplomatic Route

Spain faces the possibility of losing their key tournament as a deal concerning its future is nowhere in sight.

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MADRID: In five years time the Madrid Open could become extinct amid ongoing discussions about the future of the tournament beyond 2021.

 

The combined event has been held annually at the Caja Magica since 2009. It is owned by Romanian businessman Ion Tiriac, who once experiancemented with the concept of using blue clay courts. Madrid is a key tournament in both the ATP and WTA calendars. Currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory event for the women.

“For me the ideal (situation) would be to continue here another 20 years, but if you can not and the tournament is not necessary for Madrid, we can not be there,” Spanish newspaper Marca quoted Tiriac as saying.

As is currently stands there are no agreement in place with the local council concerning the future of the event. This is despite the economic benefits it has had on the city. Last year, more than 260,000 people attended the tournament. During that same year it also generated 130,562,662 euros in advertising value, a 27.83% rise compared to 2016.

“I do not understand that there are people who do not want it here, when the tournament earns money for the city and for Spain, the city ​​does not lose money, it earns money, apart from the publicity it generates,” Tiriac told Press agency DPA.
“But I’m not the one who must understand it, it must be understood by the people (local government) who take care of it. I must ensure that the tournament continues, either here or elsewhere.” He added.

Nadal responds

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The prospect of Spain losing its principle tennis tournament is one that many fear. It is not the first time that doubts has been raised about its future. Hope could rest on the shoulders of Rafael Nadal, who is regarded as a superstar in his home country. One study conducted by professor Francesc Pujol from the University of Navarra found Nadal to be the most popular athlete in the 2016 Spanish Olympic team at the Rio Games. The study measured athlete’s popularity on the internet and their social media accounts.

Whilst few can dispute Nadal’s potential power and influence on the current situation, he is refusing to get caught up in the politics. A potential blow to those hoping to keep the event in the Spanish capital.

“I think the town hall will have to make that decision. It’s not ours to make. It will be the town hall who will decide if they want to continue to bet for a tournament of this size or if they prefer to invest in something else, or if they don’t prefer to bet on a sport like this.” He told reporters on Monday.

Nadal, who is a five-time champion of the event, later praised the tournament. Insisting that few other countries around could do the same. Under the tour structure, there are nine Masters 1000 and four Premier Mandatory tournaments per year.

“I think we have a great tournament here in Spain, one of the highest levels, a really high-level tournament.” He said. “It’s true that it’s also one of the sports that there are a lot of people watching us. It’s very difficult to be able to achieve a tournament like this one here because there are a limited number of them.”

Madrid has hosted an international tennis tournament annually since 2002.

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Matteo Berrettini reaches the final on his debut at the Queen’s

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Top seed Matteo Berrettini beat Alex De Minaur 6-4 6-4 after 84 minutes to reach the final in his debut at the Queen’s Club in London. 

 

Berrettini has not dropped a set yet at this tournament and beat British players Andy Murray and Daniel Evans earlier this week. 

Berrettini won 89% of his first service points and hit 8 aces. The Italian top ten player broke serve in the third game with a backhand down the line to take a 2-1 lead and did not face any break points in his next service games to win the first set 6-4. 

Berrettini earned three break points in the fifth game of the second set, but De Minaur held serve from 0-40 to take a 3-2 lead. Berrettini saved a break point to draw level to 3-3 before breaking serve to take a 5-4 lead in the ninth game, when De Minaur hit his slice into the net. Berrettini served out the win on his second match point to become the first Italian player to reach the final at the Queens. 

“Making the final was the goal of the week, and now I have one more step. It is a great achievement, especially for the history of this tournament. I am really happy because to beat Alex today, I had to play my best tennis. The mentality is that I always think I can win my service games. I know that I have a big weapon with my serve and first shot. If I sleep too well, it means something is off is off ahead of the final. I have to be nervous and tight a little bit, otherwise the adrenaline does not kick in and it is tougher to play”, said Berrettini. 

Berrettini set up a final against Cameron Norrie, who beat Denis Shapovalov 7-5 6-3 in 94 minutes. Norrie won 76% of his first service points and came back from one set down to become the first British player to reach the final at the Queen’s. 

Shapovalov earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Norrie broke back to draw level to 3-3. The British player earned his second break with a backhand passing shot in the 12th game to claim the first set 7-5. 

Norrie did not convert a break point at 3-2, after Shapovalov had treatment on an injury. The British player broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set in the second game to secure his spot in the final. Norrie has reached his third final this year after fiinishing runner-up to Albert Ramos Vinolas at the Estoril Open and to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Lyon. 

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Samsonova Reaches Final in Berlin after Stunning Azarenka

The Russian qualifier beats the Belarusian in straight sets. She will face the fifth seed, Belinda Bencic.

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Liudmila Samsonova in Berlin in 2021 (Credit: @TennisChanneli on Twitter)

Liudmila Samsonova continued her dream run at the Bett1 Open in Berlin, this time beating the world number 16 Victoria Azarenka quite comfortably with a score of 6-4, 6-2 in only an hour and six minutes on Steffi Graff Stadion. “It’s all incredible for me, so new and I am happy and it’s unbelievable for me”.

 

The world number 106 had the better start to the match, earning the first two breakpoints of the match and getting an early 2-0 lead before the Minsk, Belarus native had two chances to go back on serve – the Russian, however, saved both and held serve.

It stayed on serve until 5-3m when the world number 106 had two set points on her opponents serve, but Azarenka would save both and the Russian would serve out the first set.

The second set was a mirror image of the first one, with the 22-year-old getting two more breakpoints and breaking to take an early 1-0 lead which she would later manage to turn into a double break.

At 4-0, the Russian had a chance to break again setting up a breakpoint with a powerful forehand winner, but the Belarusian would save both with two big serves.

At 5-2, Samsonova served out the match to book her spot in Sundays final where she will face the number five seed Belinda Bencic, who earlier in the day booked her spot in the final by beating Alize Cornet in straight sets.

In her post-match press conference, Samsonova gave her thoughts on Sunday’s match against another tough opponent in Bencic.

“I’m sure it’s going to be another tough match because she plays very good on this surface and she’s a good player, so I will try to do my best and focus on my game and we will see.”

This will be the first time Belinda Bencic and Liudmila Samsonova will meet in a WTA match.

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Andrey Rublev reaches his first grass court final in Halle

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Andrey Rublev hit 24 winners in his 6-1 3-6 6-3 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili in 1 hour and 51 minutes to reach his first grass court final at the NOVENTI Open in Halle. 

 

Rublev raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first set with two breaks in the second and fourth games after 19 minutes. Basilashvili broke serve in the fifth game of the second set after a forehand error from Rublev to win the second set 6-3. 

Rublev earned a break in the sixth game of the third set, when Basilashvili mis-timed a backhand. Basilashvili rallied from 0-40 at 3-5 to save three break points. Rublev served out the third set 6-3 on his first match point. 

Rublev will try to improve his 4-1 record in his ATP 500 level finals. The Russian player rise to third position in the ATP Race to Turin. He has extended his match record at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed from the Covid-19 suspension. He has claimed his past four ATP Tour 500 level finals in Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Vienna in 2020 and Rotterdam in 2021. “It’s my first final on grass and in Halle. I think I can play on every surface and I will try my best again tomorrow. I had good opporunities to break Basilashvili in the second set, some quite easy forehands and I stressed a little showing my emotions. I then came back and stayed calm until the last game, but I won”, said Rublev.

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