'Roger Federer is an artist, but Rafael Nadal is the Madrid Open favorite'



by LUIGI GATTO

'Roger Federer is an artist, but Rafael Nadal is the Madrid Open favorite'

In an interview to Marca, the former Madrid Open Tournament Director Manolo Santana commented on the big favourites to win the Spanish event. "For me, Rafael Nadal keeps being the favourite. Novak Djokovic seems to be thinking more about the Grand Slams.

About Roger Federer, the only thing I can say is that he is an artist. Hopefully, he plays the final with Rafa. It's the final that everyone would like to have. They do not stop asking me for tickets to see them", said Santana.

And what about the French Open? "If he is injury-free, I say Rafa. Even if fans hope new fans come." Madrid is the second youngest Masters 1000 after Shanghai, having been introduced to the Tour in 2002. Many factors helped to the event' growth: "I do not forget the unconditional support that Madrid as a city gave us from the beginning.

Even the Spanish Tennis Federation supported us, and Nadal's success was the key. All the kids I meet, they ask me: 'When does Rafa come?' He is an amazing man. He was very important a bit like David Ferrer, who this year chose our tournament to retire from tennis.

Another advantage is that most of the players are football fans and use the week to go see the Real Madrid or Atletico." On Madrid Open keeping his venue until 2031, Santana added: "I think the chiefs of the Municipality saw the importance that the Mutua has at a sports and social level", he recognized. The Madrid men's singles draw will take place on Saturday at 11:30 AM local time.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Manolo Santana