The Mutua Madrid Open is about to embark on one of the most exciting editions of its history as one of the keystone events in the heart of the clay swing. The Spanish capital will once again welcome the best players in the world to a cutting-edge tournament, with world-class courts and one of the players’ most coveted trophies. Celebrating triumph in the Manolo Santana Stadium will be the ultimate goal for the elite, but it is a feat within reach of only a special few.
The men’s competition will include a home player who is sure to capture the lion’s share of the attention. Carlos Alcaraz will shoulder the weight of Spanish expectations as the fan favourite at the ATP Masters 1000, taking the generational baton in a long line of players that have given the Madrid crowds something to cheer about.
The Murcia native is the defending champion in the Caja Mágica, thanks to his unforgettable 2022 campaign on the Madrid clay. His coronation at last year’s event confirmed him as a world-beating tennis player before he turned 20 and his return to the Spanish capital is anticipated with unrivalled enthusiasm.
Nadal’s five titles at the tournament are still the record haul, making the Mallorcan something of an icon for the fans. The arrival of the clay swing unfailingly brings out the best in the Balearic Islander, who is always prepared to dig his deepest at the biggest event on Spanish soil. In his absence through injury this year, his historic feats will surely be an inspiration for his peers.
Many spectators will be hoping to get a glimpse of Alexander Zverev, last year’s runner up at the tournament and the champion in both 2018 and 2021. Having reached three of the last four finals in the Caja Mágica, the German will be eyeing up the Madrid clay as a potential stage for his return to the top of the sport. His powerful hitting has become one of the most feared weapons among his adversaries in the Spanish capital.
At an event that is always wide open, where only Nadal has successfully defended his crown, there will be a long list of contenders this year. Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2019’s runner-up, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, who has already picked up a small haul of titles in 2023, Norwegian player Casper Ruud, a finalist last year at Roland Garros, and young Dane Holger Rune, one of the most promising talents on tour, will ensure the competition is both well-fought and passionate.
The experience of players such as Pablo Carreño Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Bernabé Zapata, Albert Ramos Viñolas and Jaume Munar, among others, means there will be Spanish flags galore in every corner of the venue.
The women’s competition promises to be a thriller in 2023. With a group of players in the form of their lives leading the WTA pack, the battle for the trophy is sure to be intense once again this year in the Caja Mágica.
Tunisian player Ons Jabeur will be charged with defending the biggest title of her career on a stage that she dominated a year ago with a masterful performance. Her game, replete with touch and shotmaking, is a perfect match for the unique conditions of the Madrid WTA 1000, where the ability to adapt always pays dividends.
The Spanish capital will welcome world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, currently the undisputed queen of the women’s locker room, with open arms. The two-time French Open champion will have a chance to underline her authority on clay and demonstrate that her devastating game is just as effective on the courts of Madrid.
Having the fans on your side is always a special feeling and Paula Badosa understands that connection like few others. Her semi-final run in 2021 continues to be the best result for a Spanish woman in the history of the event, and her ferocious tennis is a perfect fit for the characteristics of the capital. Having climbed to No. 2 in the world, Paula will have a chance to demonstrate that her tennis knows no bounds in the Caja Mágica.
Fans will also be dying to watch Garbiñe Muguruza, the greatest Spanish woman in the last 20 years, strut her stuff at her home event. Having made a habit of dominating players on the biggest stages on tour, she has everything it takes to find her A-game and perform for a crowd that are dying to celebrate with her.
At a time in which we are spoilt for choice for quality players at the top of the women’s game, the fight to come out on top has never been more open. Players in their prime such the Greek Maria Sakkari, the American Jessica Pegula, Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka and Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, form part of a group of hugely talented players that are guaranteed to keep the crowds on the edges of their seats.
The return to the tour of Sara Sorribes, a player who has enjoyed some of the most emotional moments of her career in the Caja Mágica, will bring a very interesting ingredient to the 2023 competition. Figures like Nuria Párrizas and Rebeka Masarova, who form a strong foundation for the Spanish Armada will provide plenty for the home fans to get excited about.
The Caja Mágica is ready to host two spectacular weeks of tennis, when the best players in the world will gather in Madrid to compete once again at this prestigious clay event. Take a seat, the fun is about to begin.