Fernando Verdasco lamented the lack of invitations for Spanish players (only one in the men’s draw, none in the women’s) at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, which in his opinion “commercial interests have prevailed over those of Spanish sport.”
“We have many tennis players who have been at the gates of being able to participate and have been ignored in their requests to receive an invitation,” the player has expressed on his social networks.
The Madrid tournament made its invitations public, which in the men’s main draw will go to the British Andy Murray and Jack Draper, the Spanish Carlos Gimeno and the French Lucas Pouille and in the women’s main draw to the Japanese Naomi Osaka, the Puerto Rican Mónica Puig, the Czech Linda Fruhvirtova, Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk and Chinese Qinwen Zheng.
“We do not understand that the promoting company and the owners of the tournament have found the criteria to give these invitations reasonable,” added Verdasco, on behalf of “many Spanish players.”
“We have felt that it was very important to communicate how sad we are not being able to play in our country and to make known the situation that has deprived us of that opportunity,” he says.
Paula Badosa He has shown his support for Verdasco by responding to him, also on networks, and remembering that last year she participated with an invitation and completed “one of the best tournaments” of her career. Badosa, who arrived as number 62 in the ranking, reached the semifinals and began a meteoric rise that has taken her to third place in world tennis.
“Very sad to see things like this for Spanish tennis. When on top of that there is a lot of potential… It’s a huge opportunity for everyone and it’s a shame that the only tournament we have at such a level, this happens… We have to give our tennis players opportunities to continue growing”, said the player, whose support Verdasco thanked.
Andy Murray, number 83 in the world, has intervened in the controversy by answering a user who asks him if he considers himself too good to play the previous round. “I am more than delighted to play qualifying. I will certainly do so in Rome. But if a tournament invites me to play in the main draw, are you suggesting that I decline the invitation and play qualifying?” comments the Scot.