Progress, growth and promotion. The Mutua Madrid Open continued its commitment to wheelchair tennis on Wednesday with an event with Daniel Caverzaschi, one of the world’s leading players in the format and a member of the Spanish delegation at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.
The player held a press conference in which he spoke of his professional ambitions and later, after Rafael Nadal’s opener at the Mutua Madrid Open, Dani knocked up with the Mallorcan on the clay of the Manolo Santana Centre Court, receiving a standing ovation from the fans. The two Spanish number ones have both produced moments that are part of the history of this sport.
“I would like to be the Manolo Santana of wheelchair tennis”, the star told the press when asked about his ambitions. “My sporting goal is to be number 1 some day and to be able to compete in the Grand Slams, but I also want to promote wheelchair tennis in Spain”.
Caverzaschi thanked the tournament for the welcome he received and looked to the future, confident that he will be able to be a pioneer in the format. “Thank you for the invitation and the support that the Mutua Madrid Open is giving to wheelchair tennis. We are thinking of having an international tournament and that is a great thing. One of my goals is my professional results, but another is to promote wheelchair tennis. To be the Manolo Santana of wheelchair tennis”.
“It is the most professionalized sport there is, and also the one with the most competition”, said Caverzaschi, well aware of the work he has ahead of him. “In Spain there is not as much support as in other countries, where they even pay for tickets to come and watch us. There are a lot of things we still have to do” closed Daniel.
“I have never played in a wheelchair”, said Nadal, who was full of admiration for Caverzaschi in the press conference following his opener at the Mutua Madrid Open. “I have played with him several times, we even made a television advert together. I cannot praise him enough, I really admire him”, he added. “I think it is very difficult to do what they do. When we coincide at Grand Slams, I often watch the matches because it is amazing what these players can do in a wheelchair”.