Madrid Open 2014

Can Spain’s favourite player taste glory on home soil again?

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


Madrid centre courtThere 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 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 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 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 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 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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Main theme, Image 1 and 2 © Tennis-Bargains.com
Image 3 © Guzman Lozano
Image 4 © Promo Madrid

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