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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal at the presentation of Rafa Nadal Open Banc Sabadell
The official presentation of the new Challenger Rafa Nadal Open Banc Sabadell tennis tournament took place at Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, 25 July 2018.
The event was attended by Rafael Nadal, tournament's director Juan Suasi, Spanish Secretary of State for Sports, Maria Jose Rienda and Royal Spanish Tennis Federation's President, Miguel Diaz.
"We have been working towards this for many years," Nadal said. "We are organising different types of events: the Spanish Championships, some Futures and Senior tournaments, but the organisation of a Challenger is one more step towards the growth that we want to take. On a personal level, it is a great satisfaction to see that things are going the way we wanted."
"It's an important step towards the future of our tennis," Nadal added. "It is true that we have had a generation of very important tennis players, but it is also true that we have been a little stuck for a few years. We have to unite together to get back on track with new successful generations of tennis players. The organisation of Challengers, which have become more numerous in our country, is a very important benefit to the young Spaniards who can play tournaments of the highest level on their path to the Top 100 and beyond."
"The 'Challenger' is an important word because it is the second-biggest tour at the highest level of our sport. Without exception, we have all gone through the Challenger Tour. It is a special level in which you can see witness the growth and maturity of our young players, who probably in a short time we can see on TV at the tour-level. They are the future stars of the sport.
"At the same time, players who come back from injuries can use the Challengers as a very important part of their sporting life. It's the closest event to the ATP World Tour. My experience when I played Challengers was good. I was lucky to compete for half a year before becoming a professional. They are tournaments that are of a high level and I enjoyed them all."
The tournament will be held from 25 August to 02 September 2018.
Photos: Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar; EPA; EFE; Emilio Perez de Rozas