Photographs: Goyo Ybort
The update of the calendars of the different Mapfre leagues, launched by the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) to reactivate the competition at the highest level in Spain, definitively leave 9 scenarios for men’s tournaments, below and above the top-100, female and wheelchair; distributed between Catalonia and the Valencian Community, with 4 locations each, and Asturias.
The opening of the competition will be the Mapfre Tennis League of the top-100 at the Municipal Tennis Center Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, headquarters of the Catalan Tennis Federation, between July 10 and 12. This center, inaugurated for the 1992 Olympics, has become a venue after the Covid-19 outbreak and confinement that has prevented its celebration at the centennial Club Tennis Lleida.
After The confinement of the city of Lleida due to an outbreak of COVID-19 was known on Saturday, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) has received an offer from the Catalan Tennis Federation (FCT) to move to its headquarters in the Center Municipal de Tennis Vall d’Hebron, in Barcelona, the first date of the MAPFRE Tennis League.
The test will be held on the same scheduled date, from July 10 to 12, with the same announced players: Roberto Bautista, Pablo Carreño, Albert Ramos, Pablo Andújar, Roberto Carballés, Alejandro Davidovich, Jaume A. Munar and Pedro Martínez Portero .
The president of the CT Lleida: “It is a force majeure”
The president of the CT Lleida, José Luis Solans, has regretted that the test cannot be held in Lleida: “It is a force majeure. In these cases, health comes first and there was no alternative, with the region confined. Out of responsibility, we can’t move on. ”
Solans stressed that “the club, together with the RFET and the support of the institutions and the sponsors, has made a great effort in recent weeks to have everything ready and to be able to offer a good show, with all the security guarantees for the partners, players and fans, but ultimately it won’t be. It is a shame because we celebrated our Centennial and we were very excited. ”
The Olympic track will host the matches
The Vall Hebron Municipal Tennis Center was opened in 1992 on the occasion of the Barcelona Olympic Games. The facility, headquarters of the Catalan Tennis Federation, has 15 dirt courts and 7 fast courts.
The central court of the Tennis Vall Hebron, which hosted the legendary final of the 1992 Olympics with Jordi Arrese as the protagonist, will this time host the current best players in Spanish tennis.
The MAPFRE Tennis League is a competition created by the RFET for the best national tennis players to prepare for their return to the ATP circuit after the break by COVID-19. You will face two teams of 4 players in each of the 3 scheduled tournaments. The other two will take place in Valencia (July 17-19) and Avilés (July 24-26).
Roberto Bautista and Pablo Carreño, numbers 12 and 25 of the world, will lead the two teams that will meet in the first round of the new MAPFRE Tennis League, which will take place at the Club Tennis Lleida from July 10 to 12.
The rest of the confirmed players for the premiere are Albert Ramos, Pablo Andújar, Roberto Carballés, Alejandro Davidovich, Jaume A. Munar and Pedro Martínez Portero.
The competition created by the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) for the best national tennis players to prepare for their return to the ATP circuit after the break by COVID-19, will face two teams of 4 players in each of the 3 tournaments that make up the tour.
The two numbers one, Bautista and Carreño, will choose the members of their team alternately on Thursday, July 9, one day before the start of the test. 3 single matches and one double match will be played each day. The matches on the first day will give 1 point, those on the second day 2 points and those on the third day 3.
The singles will be played from 17 hours, one followed by another, the best of 3 sets with super tie-break in the third set in case of a tie. The doubles will have a gold point and will close the day.
At least 20 matches (5 per tournament) will be offered live by Teledeporte RTVE, after the agreement reached between the public entity and the RFET.
The Kia automobile brand will award the best player in the MAPFRE Tennis League with a XCeed Plug-in Hybrid model car, a competition organized by the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) to facilitate the return to competition of Spanish tennis players after the break by the COVID-19.
When competing in a team system, the winner of the Kia car will be the player who scores the most points throughout the three tournaments of the tour in Lleida, Valencia and Avilés. In the event of a tie, the technical regulations of the RFET will be followed to decide the best player in the league.
“Kia is a brand committed to society. We are delighted to be able to participate in this charitable initiative that arises from the world of tennis, to which we have been united for so long, and with which we share so many values, ”explained a brand spokesperson.
“For this we will contribute by rewarding the winner with one of our most desired models, the Kia XCeed in its Plug-in Hybrid version. A compact SUV that, in addition to its design, stands out for its technology focused on protecting the environment, combining an efficient gasoline engine with a battery that allows it to travel about 50 km in 100% electric mode ”.
Kia has been a supplier of the RFET and the official vehicle of the Spanish tennis teams since 2018.
The MAPFRE Women’s Tennis League will debut with a luxury poster with two Top-100s in the first tournament at the Club Tennis d’Aro (Girona), from July 15 to 19. The Swiss Jil Belén Teichmann (No. 63) and Sara Sorribes (No. 83) head a list of participants that also includes Aliona Bolsova (No. 102) and Lara Arruabarrena (No. 149).
Among those registered in the final table of 24 players are another 5 located in the Top-300: Cristina Bucsa (No. 176), Nuria Párrizas (No. 217), Eva Guerrero (No. 229), the Greek Despina Papamichail (No. 254) and Georgina García Pérez (No. 282).
The high level of participation translates into the preliminary phase with the presence of some outstanding promises such as the Andorran Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva – junior champion of the Australian Open with just 14 years old and current world No. 1 -, the Gipuzkoan Ane Mintegi, the Avila player Paula Arias or Marta Custic from Tenerife.
Three tournaments and live TV
The MAPFRE Women’s Tennis League will finally have 3 tournaments, after the cancellation of the scheduled test in Madrid due to the announcement of the return of the WTA world circuit on August 3. All of them endowed with € 24,000 in prizes.
After the Club Tennis d’Aro tournament, the competition will move to the Castellón Tennis Club (July 22 to 26) and to the Club Tennis Els Gorchs de Les Franqueses del Vallès in Barcelona (July 29 to August 2).
and Llerona, Les Franqueses del Vallés (Barcelona), Els Gorchs Tennis Club (1970).
Teledeporte will offer live the two semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday of the three tournaments.
The competition has been created by the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) for Spanish players to prepare for their return to the WTA and ITF world circuits after the break by COVID-19. It will be the official return to the competition in our country since the tournaments will score for the national ranking.
MAPFRE Chair Tennis League
In parallel, the MAPFRE Chair Tennis League will be played in the morning, with the presence of the 6 best national specialists: Martín de la Puente, Daniel Caverzaschi, Quico Tur, Kike Siscar, Cisco García and Arturo Montes.
The other two MAPFRE Tennis League tournaments will be played at the Valencia Tennis Club (July 17, 18 and 19) and at the Avilés Royal Tennis Club (July 24, 25 and 26), with the same format competition.
The RFET and RTVE have signed an agreement to offer live 5 matches of each of the 3 appointments of La Liga MAPFRE de Tenis.
In addition to the men’s circuit and chair tennis, the MAPFRE Tennis League will also have a women’s circuit and a men’s “Valor” circuit for players from the Top-100, with 3 tournaments each.
The Mapfre Women’s Tennis League will also consist of four events but with draws of 24 players and eliminatory
Calendar Mapfre Women’s Tennis League
Club Tennis d’Aro (1973)
Preliminary Phase: July 12 to 14
Final Phase: July 15 to 19
Registration deadline: June 27
Castellón Tennis Club (1967?)
Preliminary Phase: July 19 to 21
Final Phase: July 22 to 26
Registration deadline: July 4
RACE (Royal Automobile Club of Spain)
Preliminary Phase: July 26 to 28
Final Phase: July 29 to August 2
Registration deadline: July 11
LES FRANQUESES DEL VALLÈS (B)
Club Tennis Els Gorchs
Preliminary Phase: August 2-4
Final Phase: August 5 to 9
Registration deadline: July 18
July 18 and 19 Playa de Aro July 25 and 26 CT Castellón August 1 and 2 Els Gosrchs (Barcelona)
Calendar Mapfre Men’s Tennis League
Lleida, Club Tennis Lleida, conventional qualifying rounds, July 10-12
Madrid, venue to be confirmed, system of 2 groups of 5 players, July 17-19
Valencian Community, pending venue, conventional qualifying rounds, July 24-26
Aviles (Asturias), Real Club Tenis de Avilés, system of 2 groups of 5 players, July 31-August 2.
The MAPFRE Valor Tennis League For players located from the Top-100, the curtain will be raised at UP Pàdel & Tennis Cornellà-Bcn in Barcelona, from July 15 to 19, with a poster that includes 7 participants among the top 200 in the world. Jaume A. Munar (No. 105) and Pedro Martínez (No. 106) will start as first favorites.
Of the international representation, the Belarusian Ilya Ivashka (No. 138), the Italian Lorenzo Giustino (No. 153) and the Canadian Steven Díez (No. 165) stand out. Joining them will be Carlos Taberner (No. 175), Mario Vilella (No. 188), Tommy Robredo (No. 214), Bernabé Zapata (No. 212) or Javier Barranco (No. 296).
The MAPFRE Valor Tennis League will have 3 tournaments. After the inaugural event in Cornellá, the competition will move to Alicante with separate tournaments at the JC Ferrero – Equelite Sport Academy in Villena (July 22-26) and at the Ferrer de La Nucía Tennis Academy (August 29-2), all of them with € 12,400 in prizes.
The competition has been created by the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) for Spanish players to prepare for their return to the ATP and ITF world circuits after the break by COVID-19. It will be the official return to the competition in our country since the tournaments will score for the national ranking.