With just 17 days to go until the fifteenth anniversary of the Mutua Madrid Open kicks off, the tournament organisers have announced the first invites, which have been granted to Fernando Verdasco and Lara Arruabarrena. The news means that two Spanish players will be able to compete in the main draw in what is a special year for the tournament.
Verdasco joins the 45 men confirmed to be competing in the Caja Mágica between 29 April and 8 May in the fourth Masters 1000 of the season. The Madrid native, who has played in 13 of the tournament’s 14 years, had his best results when he reached the quarter-finals in 2009 (losing to Rafael Nadal) and in 2012 (when he bowed out to Tomas Berdych). Currently at number 88 in the ATP rankings, Verdasco received an invitation as a result of his record in Madrid, where he is one of the fan favourites.
The Spaniard was delighted to hear the news: “From Monte Carlo I would like to thank the Mutua Madrid Open for giving me the chance to play in a tournament that is special to me. I would especially like to thank Manolo Santana, and also to congratulate him on 15 years running the tournament. I urge all of you to come to the Caja Magica!”.
Verdasco is now the sixth ATP player from the Spanish Armada who will be taking part in the Mutua Madrid Open. The Madrid native joins Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Roberto Bautista, Feliciano López and Guillermo García-López, with whom he will share a place in the main draw.
For her part, Arruabarrena will be the third Spanish WTA player in the main draw of the third Premier Mandatory in 2016, joining Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez on the Madrid clay. At 24 years old the player from Tolosa is one of the great hopes for the future of Spanish tennis.
“From Bogota I would like to thank the Mutua Madrid Open for the confidence it has placed in me by giving me this invitation. I am very excited about playing in the most important women’s tournament we have in Spain. I hope to play well in the Caja Mágica in a few days”, said Lara.
Manolo Santana, the Director of the Mutua Madrid Open, spoke about the tournament’s awarding of these first wild cards: “Fernando and Lara are two very important representatives of our tennis, now and also in the future. We are delighted to be able to help them. I am sure they will make the most of the opportunity to have a good tournament in the Caja Mágica and delight the fans with their game”.
The Mutua Madrid Open will announce the remaining wild cards (three in the ATP and four in the WTA) in the coming days. The wild cards for the qualifying rounds, which serve as a trampoline to the tournament’s main draw, will also be published.