After the suspension in 2020 as a result of pandemic, Feliciano López (Toledo, 39 years outdated) lives his second expertise as director of the Mutua Madrid Open, which could have a restricted variety of spectators. The veteran tennis participant is happy that the event, which prolonged the settlement with the Metropolis Council for 4.2 million euros for this 12 months, is an instance that occasions with the general public are “attainable and protected” and she is glad in regards to the excessive degree of participation in each ATP and WTA.
What difficulties have you ever encountered for the group of the Mutua this 12 months?
It has not been simple within the state of affairs we live in, with all of the restrictions we’ve. The primary factor is to clarify it effectively to everybody and have a effectively carried out protocol, as a result of we’re going to be the primary large occasion in Spain through which there are a lot of individuals. There have been some with a most of 1,500 individuals in Madrid, equivalent to Rafael’s live performance, a handball sport or the World Padel Tour on the Wizink Middle, the place 18,000 can match. We have now a variety of duty as a result of they’ll take a look at us with a magnifying glass and we’ve to do issues effectively. As for the gamers, it’s one other sort of event, with a check upon arrival, the Caja Mágica protected and a protected setting in order that nothing occurs. New issues, questions and elements are rising for everybody.
Does having skilled bubble tennis enable you to as a participant?
Sure, as a result of inside the staff I deliver my expertise, particularly with reference to the checks: how lengthy does it take to reach, the necessity to have a laboratory that works for the event in order that the tennis gamers after they arrive don’t have to be locked up all day within the resort … For instance, typically they do antigen checks to allow them to prepare till the PCR outcomes are in. The Mutua has the drawback of being a mixed ATP and WTA occasion, which have totally different rules relating to COVID. You must discover a stability and provides a picture of duty and safety. As for the boys, issues are enjoyable a bit as a result of there are gamers who felt that it was not price touring and needed extra freedom and confidence within the duty of every one. Right here we’re going to be strict as a result of the state of affairs just isn’t but at its finest and we have to be cautious.
How is the protocol of the gamers?
Once they arrive in Madrid, they’re picked up on the airport and brought to the resorts organized for the bubble, the place they take the check and till they’ve the outcome they can not come to the Caja Mágica. Exceptions are made for these vaccinated or those that have antibodies as a result of they’ve had the illness. That varies a bit between ATP and WTA. There are some lists and a few gamers have permission to not take a check. Within the enclosure they’ve personal areas the place solely they and their groups will probably be. Sadly, they will be unable to exit for a stroll or a run, though the WTA didn’t agree very a lot in precept and it was resolved.
You might have already performed with the general public in Marbella and Barcelona, what did you suppose?
The actual fact of seeing individuals within the stands is already an enormous change, albeit a bit, and right here we’re going to cowl between 35 and 40% of the capability relying on the monitor, which is lots (the Manolo Santana can maintain virtually 12,500 spectators, so over 5,000 might enter) If we evaluate it with zero that there have been in lots of tournaments or a thousand individuals like in Barcelona, little or no, though the ambiance was nice within the closing and it gave an excellent picture.
How are the tickets distributed?
The one on court docket 1 is bought independently and with these on the central court docket you may entry the skin, coaching periods and video games the place the platform is situated. For stage 2 there are additionally some, however few. Folks will probably be effectively separated and segmented in order that there are not any agglomerations within the flows, which is what most involved Well being of the Group of Madrid. On the entrances and exits is the place we pays probably the most consideration, as a result of that’s when there are extra potentialities of contagion. Contained in the enclosure may be very giant and there will probably be a variety of house. The tickets are nominal, with ID, and digital, solely teams of 4 individuals can meet within the stands and there will probably be separation within the seats in entrance and behind.
Are you proud of the participation?
We knew that in these instances there’s a variety of uncertainty as a consequence of journey restrictions, that are enhancing little by little. However, till now, aside from Federer’s official discharge from the boys’s draw, we’ve everybody. Folks need to play and they’re very inspired that there’s an viewers. When the vaccination charge improves, the tournaments will return to regular.
What is understood of Djokovic?
To date he has not mentioned to not come and we rely on desirous to play in Madrid. There may be time till Roland Garros as a result of delay of every week, a change like many who there are and that causes gamers to typically fluctuate their plans on the final minute and improvise greater than regular. However we’ve no info that the greats is not going to come. It will need to have harm Nole to lose at dwelling in opposition to a rival he hoped to win and also you perceive how sizzling it’s (He mentioned he didn’t know if he would come to the Mutual), however we’ve no information from his staff on a resignation.
Other than Nadal and Djokovic they’ve opted for Carlos Alcaraz …
It’s the invitation that each event desires to offer, to a younger participant with nice projection. That is what they’re for, to assist these youngsters with potential. Hopefully Carlos does effectively right here. It’s a nice pleasure for Spanish tennis that there’s somebody who awakens that phantasm, that they need to see him and that they discuss him, though it’s important to be prudent and never put an excessive amount of stress on him. However, clearly, he generates nice expectations on this planet of tennis and I like that he comes right here to play and that folks can see him.
How about your match in opposition to him Marbella (the Murcian gained in three units)?
I actually preferred it and I loved it. I actually needed to have the ability to face a boy like him, 19 years youthful, and be aggressive. It was not simply any sport. Outdoors of the nice gamers, taking part in in opposition to kids may be very good. I used to be impressed by his method of being on the court docket, his capacity to improvise, to make spectacular photographs in any place, his character … He has these particular little issues of doubtless distinctive gamers. I hope he can develop them and be a fantastic champion.
The WTA desk has the inducement to rely the Spanish girls of their finest second, with Muguruza on the helm. How do you see it?
I personally would like to see her triumph in a event of this degree and in Madrid. Folks anticipate it and he or she actually desires to do effectively right here. Sara (Sorribes) has taken a degree leap with victory on (laborious) courts that didn’t favor her sport a lot. That’s the proof of your degree change. Paula (Badosa) has been evolving for a 12 months or so and I prefer it. Hopefully each of them do effectively, they’re younger, with potential and time to enhance.
Having mentioned all this, what do you anticipate from this Mutua Madrid Open?
I hope that we’re, as soon as once more, pioneers in with the ability to present everybody, not simply Spaniards, that occasions like this, in instances like those we live, are attainable and protected. And that folks can take pleasure in coming right here, spending the day and seeing good tennis after how unhealthy we’ve had it this final 12 months and a half. There are individuals who haven’t but been in a position to see a reside soccer match. The semifinals of the Champions League will probably be performed with out a single individual within the stadium. We need to be an instance and a motive for pleasure. That from right here individuals see that an occasion like this may be held in instances of COVID. That followers take pleasure in doing one thing that was not too long ago unthinkable and this can be a turning level in the direction of a life that returns to regular.