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There can certainly be no question that Spain is a nation of fine sporting pedigree. Take Barcelona and Real Madrid, arguably two of greatest football teams ever to step onto a pitch – not to mention the country’s dominance of the sport at international level. Even Formula One has its icon in the form of the once all-conquering Fernando Alonso. In May each year, however, Alonso, Iniesta, Ramos et al take a back seat in favour of another home-grown hero. When the Madrid Open sets up shop, Spaniards across the country only have eyes for the mighty Rafael Nadal.
Nadal lifted the trophy in 2013, dismissing recently crowned Australian Open star Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets in the final; the hopes of a nation will again be with him in 2014, as he battles to retain his crown. He won’t have it easy by any means, though; Wawrinka has emerged as a threat to the sport’s top dogs, and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is rapidly regaining fitness following an injury lay-off. Moreover, both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be keen to unseat the defending champion.
Madrid Open 2014: all you need to know
Madrid Open 2014: the event
La Caja Magica, or the Magic Box to you and I, has been a fitting setting for this illustrious event since 2009; the largest of the three courts boasts a seating capacity of 12,442. Widely considered one of the most important clay tournaments on the circuit, perhaps second only to France’s Roland Garros, the court last year made a return to traditional red clay after controversially dabbling with blue the previous year. Rafa will be hoping to equal Boris Becker’s record of four men’s singles titles, while Serena Williams holds the women’s record with two.
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Madrid Open 2014: ticketing
The powers that be behind the Madrid Open believe in making the tournament accessible to everyone; pleasingly then, the ticketing system is affordable in comparison to the sport’s other flagship events. You can snap them up now, with prices naturally varying in accordance with the stature of the match and location within the venue. The best seats in the house for the final will set you back a not inconsiderable £130, but you can comfortably watch the action unfold from further back for a wallet-friendly £70.
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Madrid Open 2014: schedule
The women’s qualifiers get under way on Friday 2 May, and can be taken in for a bargain £4; the slightly more expensive men’s event kicks off the following day. Given the relatively short timescale of the competition, matches are held every day, so you’re sure to find a match worth watching. The Manolo Santana court is home to the most important matches, as you would expect, and is the venue for the doubles, women’s and men’s finals throughout the day of Sunday 10 May.
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Madrid Open 2014: after a match
Tennis superstars are too focused to party – but when the last backhand has been sliced, why not take time to explore the Madrid’s many bars, clubs and restaurants to make up for their abstinence? Combine food and drink at a traditional tapas bar, where the cuisine is usually free for as long as the sangria is flowing: El Tigre is among the greatest of all. Nightclubs, by and large, open at around midnight and close whenever the last bleary-eyed reveller staggers out; make a beeline for El Sol, Kapital or Stardust to soak up the manic, Madrileño nightlife.
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Madrid Open 2014: Madrid
In the cold light of day, the best way to fend off your hangover is to take in everything else Spain’s magnificent capital city has to offer. The grandiose Royal Palace is an instantly recognisable architectural gem, located next to the equally exquisite Plaza de Oriente Square. Puerta del Sol is the central square of the city and its main hub of activity, also home to the famous El Oso y El Madroño statue from which Madrid’s unique logo was born. The lavishly decorated rooftops of the buildings that flank the sprawling Gran Via are similarly worthy of perusal.
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Madrid Open 2014 Accommodation
Cute and charming eclectic apartment, on the 16th floor of the well-known Meliá Hotel building, in the very heart of Madrid. Hosts 2-6 people.
Located in the best, most lively and safest area in downtown Madrid, with amazing views of the northern...
Comfortable, functional and beautiful apartment, to make yourself at home. Refurbished and fully furnished with modern style in November 2014.
It is located in the district of Salamanca, Alcalá street, close to the shopping area of Goya and the ...
Built in 2002, high standard, located in the best area of central Madrid, in the Plaza of Spain, then the Temple of Debod, near the Carmelite Church, Gran Via Shopping Center, Sabatini Gardens, Painter Rosales, Ferraz and Paseo del Manzanares
Excellent location, spaciousness and comfort is what you'll find in this nice apartment with high ceilings and large living room with two balconies overlooking the street and nineteenth century original fireplace.
The Gran Via ...
Excellent location, spaciousness and comfort is what you'll find in this nice apartment with high ceilings and large windows to the quiet inner courtyard, no noise from the street.
The bedroom is very spacious with two single ...
This spacious studio located on a peaceful neighbourhood in the centre of Madrid is the best option for accommodation of couples or small groups going to Madrid for business
(there is Internet wifi available included in the price), and in general...
This spacious 2 bedrooms apartment located on a peaceful neighbourhood in the centre of Madrid is the best option for accommodation of families with children, persons going to Madrid for business, elderly and in general for people wishing to stay ...
2 Spacious 3 bedroom apartments located on a peaceful neighbourhood in the centre of Madrid. Tthe best option for families with children, persons going to Madrid for business (Internet WiFi available included in the price), elderly and in general ...
Nice apartment with two bedrooms, each with a balcony overlooking the street to the Plaza of Spain. Perfect situation thoroughly to discover Madrid!.
This totally renovated apartment has been tastefully decorated in a fun and m...
This is how we would describe our apartment in a few words:
Our apartment Plaza Mayor Center III is located in the central and beautiful La Latina area.
It’s a great place to discover Madrid and a comfortable place to come home...