Photographs: Goyo Ybort, Alberto Simón, Mutua Madrid Open / A.D., Academia Equelite
The ATP, in agreement with the WTA and the ITF, agreed on March 12 to stop all calendars in the world for 6 weeks, until April 20. Six days later, the three organizations agreed to extend this suspension for another 6 weeks, until Sunday, June 7, inclusive.
The suspensions have occurred as a consequence of the spread of the Covid-19 disease, declared a global pandemic by the WHO on March 11; that originated the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In this way, the Covid-19 has shaken 510 tournaments, between ATP, WTA and ITF men, women and junior, all over the planet, including almost twenty competitions in Spain.
We wanted to press the opinion of the directors of the first ATP Challengers canceled in Spain, as well as the ATP 500 Barcelona; asking them about what it means for them, as directors, the suspension of the tournament and what is their wish before the next edition. And we have included, at the last minute, the words of the director of the Mutua Madrid Open, also suspended.
Thus, we collect the statements, in calendar order, from Daniel Muñoz de la Nava, Ronald Leitgeb, Florencio Soto (replacing the Murcian director Antonio Saura, overwhelmed as a health professional), Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer and Feliciano López y Manolo Santana.
Photography: Alberto Simón
Daniel Muñoz de la Nava, co-director of the Chamartín Open Madrid ATP Challenger:
“We, as an organization and as a club, took the step of postponing in consensus with the club’s board of directors because we saw that it was a very high risk, in principle by our own members; and we wanted to protect everyone, also the visitors (players, coaches, sponsors, etc.). A Challenger has a lot of work behind it and all the details have to be ensured.
We certainly did not expect everything that is happening, but we did foresee the seriousness of the situation. Personally, I am more than satisfied that I made the decision on time. Health is the first, most important thing, no matter how much the decision affects sports, sponsors or many other issues.
Now, eager and excited to prepare it for October even better, even to manage some more sponsor. Although we were doing pretty well, having more time to prepare everything can improve it. ”
Photography: Marbella Tennis Open
Ronald Leitgeb, director of the ATP Challenger AnyTech 365 Marbella Tennis Open:
“In recent days, everyone has followed the development and precautions against Covid-19. We, as organizers of the AnyTech 365 Marbella Tennis Open, have worked hard to get the event started on March 30 and we were hoping to have a fantastic table.
For Marbella and the Puente Romano hotel it has been a fantastic promotion at the beginning of the season, both in Spain and internationally. Kantar Media already confirmed that last year the Marbella ATP Challenger is the event with the highest advertising value of all sporting events in Marbella.
Although we are very disappointed, we fully understand the need for these measures to protect both health and people’s lives.
However, we hope to obtain a later date for this year, when the health risks are under control. All of our sponsors and colleagues have shown great loyalty, staying on board and we are confident that we will have a great tennis festival a little later this year. ”
Photography: Goyo Ybort
Florencio Soto, coordinator of the ATP Challenger Murcia Open:
“Seeing the evolution of the coronavirus, we quickly began to think about the suspension of the tournament, much to our regret, because the entire organization was very advanced, and many people had been working with enthusiasm to make the second edition of the tournament a success. .
We had contacted high-level players and we had the participation of our Murcian tennis promise, Carlos Alcaraz, which augured the presence of all tennis fans.
The board of directors immediately asked the ATP for a new date for this year, and we are waiting for confirmation for the month of September.
In any case, the Real Murcia Club de Tenis 1919 will always be at the side of promoting tennis and organizing large events for the enjoyment of all tennis fans ”.
Photography: Goyo Ybort
Juan Carlos Ferrero, director of the Alicante Challenger Trophy Juan Carlos Ferrero:
“We live in an unknown situation until now. Possibly, no club in the world had, like our Academy, three international tournaments and the Valencian Community junior championship in four of the first six weeks of suspension; with which, the damage is very great.
But the first thing is health, and for this reason we support one hundred percent the measures imposed by the authorities. Although it is logical and normal that we all act with prudence now, and even fear in spending, it will be absolutely necessary that once the state of alarm passes, we all step on the accelerator of the work to reactivate the economy. In the case of tennis tournaments, clubs or academies organizing them even better, the players also striving 100% to play better and offer more spectacle, and the fans flocking to the tournaments and applauding more than ever.
Tennis, despite being a game, makes us strong in physique and character ”.
Photography: Alberto Simón
David Ferrer, director of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 68th Conde de Godó Trophy:
“We are facing a new situation, which affects the social level, and the word would not be sad, but worried about what is happening.
As a director it is the least of the cases, right now. Obviously, I would have liked to debut as director of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Conde de Godó Trophy, but in this situation what worries me the most is on a social level and, above all, on loved ones, and worldwide.
Hopefully it will finish as soon as possible and from 2021 work to do the best possible, and with more experience; after all, I always look at it from the positive side.
My wish for 2021, first, that everything is solved, that the virus pandemic has ended; but I have not considered it at the moment either. I always try to look at the present and try to improve as a person, as a parent and little else. Hopefully for 2021 he will continue to be the director of the Conde de Godó Trophy and may have that opportunity to do things well, but honestly I have not stopped to think about these days either.
Photography: Mutua Madrid Open / A.D.
Feliciano López, director of the ATP Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open:
“We are very disappointed by the cancellation of the tournament, but the health of the fans, players and workers is what matters most at the moment.
We had worked very hard in these months together with all our sponsors and suppliers, to prepare the best possible edition, as we do every year, but our priority is the safety of all those who were going to meet at the Caja Mágica in May.
We will wait for all the fans in 2021, with more enthusiasm than ever, to celebrate our 20th anniversary. And from Mutua Madrid Open we want to send a hug to all the people affected by this terrible pandemic and especially to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. ”
Manolo Santana, honorary president of the Mutua Madrid Open:
“Without a doubt, it is the saddest situation we have experienced in these 19 years of tournament. These are very difficult times and the only thing we have left is to appeal to responsibility and be strong to hope that this whole situation will normalize as soon as possible. ”