The dream of conquering the Caja Mágica and lifting the trophy in front of the Madrid fans is one that is yet to be realised for the Spanish women. No home player has ever been crowned champion in the history of the WTA event. The clay of the Manolo Santana Stadium represents both a challenge and an ambition in the women’s locker room, and only the most resolute of players have proven capable of passing the test it presents. The Spanish contingent has never been short of serious contenders in the capital and, at one of the most prestigious events on the calendar, that hunger for home success will be as evident as ever on the red dust.
Since its beginnings as a WTA event in the 2009 season, no Spaniard has come closer to accomplishing their mission in Madrid than the players below.
Paula Badosa (semi-finalist 2021) Her semi-final run in the Caja Mágica during the season that catapulted her into the upper echelons of the game continues to be the best singles result for a Spaniard in the history of the WTA tournament. The player from Begur made the most of her invitation in Madrid by earning herself a spot among the last four challengers for the crown. Her powerful game and charisma won her a place in the hearts of the fans in an unforgettable week of astonishing tennis. Only the then world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty was able to stop her in her tracks.
Carla Suárez (quarter-finals in 2015, 2018) The Canary Islander’s amiable character and hard-working demeanour were always rewarded with the affection of the crowds in Madrid. Her elegant style of tennis, adaptable to any venue, always had an added spark in the Caja Mágica and she produced some battles for the ages in the Spanish capital. A total of three Top 10 wins and two quarter-final results were the highlights of one of Spanish tennis’ most consistent players at the Madrid tournament.
Anabel Medina (quarter-finals in 2013) One of the most versatile players Spanish tennis has produced in recent years, the Valencian’s talent was in full flow in Madrid. With an unforgettable performance, the current Fed Cup captain reached the quarters at the event one decade ago. She even served up a 6-0 to the legendary Serena Williams, much to the delight of the Manolo Santana Stadium. It was a stunning effort, but the American eventually brought her opponent’s best run at the tournament to an end.
Sara Sorribes (quarter-finals in 2022) The most recent run by a home player came at the hands of the Castellon native. Her gritty game and never-say-die attitude are a perfect fit for the intensity of Madrid. She produced one of the biggest stories at last year’s event, where she managed to claim a place among the last eight, seeing off Naomi Osaka, ex-world No. 1, and multiple Grand Slam champions along the way. Her tears under the blue skies of the Spanish capital are already part of tournament lore.
Garbiñe Muguruza (last sixteen in 2018) The Spanish woman with the most singles titles in the twenty-first century has more than proven her credentials on the biggest stages in the world. A game replete with power and unmatched competitive aggression is still waiting for its moment to shine in Madrid. The ex-world No. 1 is yet to better her 2018 performance, when she reached the last sixteen in the Caja Mágica, where the fans now eagerly await a glimpse of her best tennis. One of the biggest attractions every season.
They are joined by a number of other players who have made a name for themselves in Spanish tennis in recent years. Players such as Arantxa Parra (2010, 2011) and Lara Arruabarrena (2017) were also on the verge of the last sixteen, demonstrating the special connection with the fans that provides the home players with a boost at the Mutua Madrid Open.
In doubles, the local talent have come much closer to getting their hands on the trophy. Two consecutive finals for the duo formed by Carla Suárez and Garbiñe Muguruza (2014, 2015) were the best chances of home glory thus far.