A few hours before the draw for the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, in its men's branch, the four ‘wildcards’ are already more than defined. The organization of the Spanish Masters 1000 decided to give special invitations to home players, three young talents on the rise and a veteran who is already taking his last steps on the professional circuit.
Beyond what Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreño Busta, Albert Ramos-Viñolas and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina can do in the tournament by being well positioned in the ranking and therefore having a direct pass to it, Feliciano López, director of the MMO, decided to bet entirely on home players.
In this way they awarded the ‘wildcards’ to Carlos Alcaraz, Jaume Munar, Pedro Martínez and Fernando Verdasco. Alcaraz is becoming a regular guest at the big tournaments, receiving invitations from Acapulco, Miami, Barcelona and now Madrid.
At 17 years old and number 120 in the world, there are high hopes in Spanish tennis that he will lead the new generation. Also present will be the also young Jaume Munar, who has had a series of positive results on the European tour on brick dust.
He currently ranks 88th in the ATP rankings. On his part, Pedro Martínez is 100th in the men's classification, with everything and his good start to the season. As for Fernando Verdasco, playing at home always motivates him.
Feliciano Lopez recently lavished rich praise on compatriot Rafael Nadal, particularly highlighting how he is producing his best tennis despite being well into his 30s. Lopez even claimed that Nadal can not only carry on playing for a few more years, but also that he has the ability to keep improving with age.
During the interview, Feliciano Lopez was also probed about the withdrawals of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer from the Madrid Masters.
Lopez on Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic's absence
"We expected Roger Federer's thing (but) Novak Djokovic's is a little more surprising, but the calendar is what it is," Feliciano Lopez said.
"You have to accept that there will be some player who does not want to come." Caja Magica has three stadiums, all with retractable roofs. The main stadium is called Manolo Santana and can have up to 12,500 spectators.
The second stadium is called Arantxa Sánchez Vicario stadium and has a capacity of 3,500. The last, Court 3, has a capacity of 2,500 fans. French architect Dominique Perrault designed the Caja Magica arena. It is completely made out of iron, wood, and glass. Before moving to Caja Magica, Madrid Open was held at Madrid Arena.