Former world no. 6 and 2002 Roland Garros champion Albert Costa played his last career match at home in Barcelona in 2006, keeping close connections with this prestigious ATP 500 event and becoming tournament director two years later.
Between 2008-2019, Barcelona established itself as the fifth-strongest ATP tournament on clay, gathering some of the biggest names of our sport and witnessing Rafael Nadal lifting eight titles at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
The center court now carries Rafael Nadal's name and it gathered five top-10 stars in 2019 edition, including the great Spaniard who has won 61 out of 65 encounters played at this event! After 11 successful years, Costa is stepping down as the tournament director, embracing new role at the Davis Cup Finals and announcing another Spanish legend David Ferrer as his successor at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
"It has been an honor to serve as director of this great tournament, the one I love the most because I had the opportunity to win it in the past. That Monday when I lifted the trophy on the center court of the RCTB, which we now call the Rafa Nadal court, will always be in my memory.
From these 11 years, I have great memories like seeing Rafa Nadal winning up to eight times here, it has been something extraordinary. I want to thank the two boards of directors for the trust they have had in me, and also the phenomenal professional team behind them," said Costa.
"In its 11 years leading the event, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell has established itself as one of the biggest ATP 500 tournaments and one of the five best in the world on clay. I am very proud of the work done from the point of view of the players.
Everyone is delighted with Barcelona because they know the treatment they are going to receive and they know the people who are going to take care of them. We have had the best and I am convinced that we are leaving an important legacy in this regard, and surely all the greats of tennis will continue to want to come to Barcelona."