Photo: Tiriac and his new trophy (Daylife)
Whether it be employing models as ball girls or undergoing a radical surface change from indoor hard to clay, the Madrid Masters has never exactly played by the rules.
Now the tournament has unveiled a new trophy made of 18 carat diamond-encrusted gold, that cost "several million" to make, according to Roland Alexander, the Swiss designer responsible.
The trophy bears the names of the previous winners of the tournament as well as that of the ever-modest event owner Ion Tiriac, the billionaire Romanian businessmen who partnered Ilie Nastase to the doubles title at Roland Garros in 1970.
"I had always wanted to create a unique trophy, just to show that our tournament, the Madrid Open, is different from other tournaments in the world, "said Tiriac.
"We also needed the trophy that the winner takes home to be different," he added.
Tournament director Manolo Santana, the last Spanird to win Wimbledon before Nadal, is impressed anyway. "It's the most beautiful trophy I've ever seen," he said.
Beautiful? Or a hideously garish mess that resembles some sort of disturbing alien sex toy? Well see the picture above and judge for yourself.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.