The Mutua Madrid Open has held its opening ceremony at one of the city’s most emblematic sites, the Museo del Prado, which is also celebrating its bicentenary this year. Rafael Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza, the highest ranked Spanish ATP and WTA players, had the responsibility of overseeing the Madrid tournament’s official starting pistol.
Miguel Falomir Faus, director of the Museo del Prado, hosted the event by accompanying Muguruza and Nadal on a guided tour of one of the world’s most visited temples of art. In addition, the stars that will light up the Caja Mágica had the chance to have their photos taken with some of Diego Velázquez’s best-known masterpieces, such as Las Meninas, La Fragua de Vulcano and the Rendición de Breda.
The tour took place before the presentation in the Museum’s cloister, where Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid, Ignacio Garralda, the President of Mutua Madrileña and Feliciano López, Director of the Mutua Madrid Open were all in attendance.
“I’d like to thank the Museo del Prado for allowing us to be here tonight in such an unparalleled and historical location”, began Feliciano López. “As you know, this Mutua Madrid Open is very special for me because it is my first as Director. It is a great responsibility to take the baton from Manolo Santana, the person who made it possible for all of us to be here today”.
For his part, five-time champion Nadal spoke about his record at the tournament and wanted to return the affection that the Spanish capital has offered him every time he has visited. “Having the chance to play in Madrid from 2003 to 2019 has been a genuine pleasure for me, a great honour. The affection I have received in this city is difficult to compare with other places”, stated the player with the most Masters 1000 titles in history (33).
When it was her turn to talk, Muguruza declared “if only I could play as well as Rafa in Madrid. It’s a tournament I like so much. I haven’t managed to play well in previous years, but I hope to do so this time”. The Spaniard will be trying to break the curse of the home WTA players, who are still yet to produce victory in the Caja Mágica.
And so, everything is ready for the start of a new edition of the tournament in which David Ferrer will say farewell to the professional tour, Roger Federer will be playing on clay again after a three-year absence and the women’s draw looks more open than ever with a long list of pretenders to the throne.
Photos: Madrid Open; EPA; Madridiario; Marca; NurPhoto; Grtes