Madrid, a huge and different event

The Mutua Madrid Open takes place from April 22 to May 5

April 19, 2024

Mutua Madrid Open

The Mutua Madrid Open has been held at the Caja Mágica since 2009.
By Staff

Manolo Santana was not only a pioneer on the track, far from it. The legendary Spanish tennis player, the first to win Wimbledon (1966) in addition to breaking down many other barriers, was key to the city of Madrid having a great tennis tournament. It happened in 2022, when Ion Tiriac decided to take a step forward, bringing to the capital of Spain an event like never before seen, and he relied on the figure of Santana to do so.

While Tiriac negotiated in the offices, Santana acted as a perfect link to bring all parties to an agreement with his eternal smile, the same one that accompanied the Madrid native during his 83 years of life (he died in 2021).

Thus was born the Mutua Madrid Open, which received an impressive reception in Madrid, as well as in the rest of Spain.

From 2002 to 2008, the event was held on an indoor court (in the month of October) and at the Madrid Arena, located next to the Casa de Campo in Madrid. With a central court with capacity for more than 9,000 spectators, the tournament had a first edition full of stars: Andre Agassi, Marat Safin, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moyà, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Andy Roddick or a promising Swiss named Roger Federer.

That first edition laid the foundations for what would later become the Mutua Madrid Open: one of the best sporting events in the world, with a list of illustrious winners, but also a social attraction that very soon became a draw for well-known faces from other countries. worlds: actors, singers, models… no one wanted to miss a single detail of an event that grew year after year.

While the rivalry between Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer began to brew, in 2009 the tournament was completely renewed: it went from being held on hard court indoors to clay, from October to May and from the Casa de Campo to the Caja Mágica , an engineering work designed by Dominique Perrault and one of the most avant-garde installations on the calendar.

With up to three stadiums equipped with retractable roofs (Manolo Santana, with more than 12,000 seats, Estadio Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Estadio 3), the Mutua Madrid Open also became a combined tournament (with the entry of the WTA), testing the ground blue bat (in 2012, a year that Federer won and received the trophy from Will Smith) and continued moving forward without fear of doing different things.

“We have always been pioneers in this,” explained Feliciano López, tournament director. “We have been a very innovative and technological tournament. In that sense we have always been the ones who have risked the most, always with the intention of doing new things and surprising people.”

“We always try to surprise, but it is true that the margin is getting smaller and smaller because the standards of this tournament are very high in every sense, but here we have always worked to find a way to do things better. Since I started working here, I have learned that there is always room to do things better. I already say that it is difficult but in the future there will be different things that people can see. This year the objective is to confirm everything that was done well last year and from there to polish small details.”

Thus, the event lands in 2024 as one of the most consolidated events on the calendar and faces its fifteenth edition in the Caja Mágica, a home that has hosted the tournament since that 2009 season, hosting indelible moments in the history of the circuit. With the Manolo Santana Stadium as the central jewel, the Mutua Madrid Open dresses up to chart a new page of excellence.

“It’s been more than 20 years but there are always challenges,” López added. “The last one was last year, the first in which the tournament lasted two weeks and was a great challenge in terms of infrastructure and many other things. First, prepare the facility for twice as many people, because we went from fifty-six to ninety-six players and it’s not just them, but their entire team and companions. “That involves the whole logistical issue: transportation, hotels… because everyone has to be attended to at the level of this tournament, but above all the challenge was to adapt the installation at the level of locker rooms and courts.”

“Now we have many more tracks in the Caja Mágica,” said López, who officially retired in 2023. “We have built four more, last year two more were built… We are taking advantage of the space as much as possible, until there are no more. But things went well and this year we need to confirm it.”

One more season, Madrid will once again be the center of attention. The professional circuit will move its core to the clay of the Caja Mágica, where eternal moments will be recorded in history. The best players in the world will act as a magnetic pole, attracting the attention of the entire world during two weeks reserved for tennis at the highest level.

The big moment is approaching and kilometer 0 of tennis heads to the Mutua Madrid Open.


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