ATP Barcelona Tournament Director Albert Costa feels happy and satisfied for the first player's announcements made by the event on Friday for the 2019 edition. Rafael Nadal has committed to the ATP 500 for the 15th time in his career.
For Costa, having Nadal year after year is not something granted as the Mallorcan gets older and potentially more tired. 'The fact that Rafa comes to Barcelona is great news even if it seems normal to the fans', said Costa.
'And it will be his 15th participation since he debuted in 2003. He is at home in his club and appreciates all our work in the tournament. And, of course, for the organization it is a pride to be able to count on once again with the best tennis player in history on clay.
Surely nobody will want to miss it.' This year more than 101,000 people attended the event, that is set to feature from four to five top ten players in 2019. More player's announcements will be made in the next months.
'Alongside Nadal (this year) we had no less than Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and the vast majority of Spanish rackets', said Costa. Nadal will try to win his 12th title in the tournament.
This year he defeated the Greek young star Stefanos Tsitsipas in a straight-set final, 6-2 6-1. 'Once again I would like to announce my participation in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. This will be a special year for me given that it is my fifteenth participation.
See you in Barcelona in April', said Nadal, who is set to play also the Monte Carlo Masters, Madrid, Rome and French Open on clay. Nadal won 58 matches and lost just three during his career in Barcelona: in 2003 as a 16-year-old he lost to the then world No.
17 Alex Corretja in the second round, in 2014 he was beaten by Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals, in 2015 he lost to Fabio Fognini in the third round. ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title