Former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco reiterated his displeasure over how Madrid wildcards were distributed following his first round-of-16 win in Estoril. Verdasco, who debuted in Madrid almost two decades ago in 2003, is now ranked at No.
118 in the world and he didn't make the main draw cut for Madrid. Verdasco was hoping he would receive a Madrid wildcard as a sign for respect for what he has done for Spanish tennis. Instead, three of the four Madrid wildcards on the men's side went to non-Spanish players.
The IMG managament - that now owns Madrid - handed wildcards to Andy Murray, Jack Draper, Lucas Pouille and Spain's Carlos Gimeno. According to Verdasco, Madrid tournament director Feliciano Lopez was advocating for him to receive a wildcard but even that wasn't enough for him to be granted one.
“I’m the number 1 player in Madrid for the last 17 years. Feli [tournament diretor] did everything to help me but they didn’t give me a wild card when I most needed," Verdasco said, per Jose Morgado.
Fernando Verdasco, very happy with his 2nd ATP QFs of the year, still very pissed with Madrid. “I’m the number #1 player in Madrid for the last 17 years. Feli [tournament diretor] did everything to help me but they didn’t give me a wild card when I most needed”.
Verdasco: Pouille is a friend of mine but giving him a wildcard doesn't make sense
"Pouille, who is a great friend of mine, got a wildcard in Madrid.
Bercy would never give me a wildcard instead of a French. That doesn’t happen," Verdasco added.
Verdasco has been a regular in Madrid throughout his career. Verdasco reached the Madrid quarterfinals in 2009 and 2012. In 2009, Verdasco reached his first Madrid quarterfinal before losing to Rafael Nadal.
“Pouille, who is a great friend of mine, got a wild card in Madrid. Bercy would never give me a WC instead of a French.
That doesn’t happen”. — José Morgado (@josemorgado) April 27, 2022
Three years later - when Madrid was famously played on a blue clay surface - Verdasco made the quarterfinal before losing to Tomas Berdych. On Wednesday, Verdasco reached his second ATP quarterfinal of the year after beating Pablo Cuevas in the Estoril round-of-16.
Verdasco hasn't won an ATP title since 2016 but he is playing well this week and he is certainly hoping to potentially win it all.