OFF-COURT ACTIVITIES RECAP 2014
Nadal's Honourable Week In Madrid
by ATP Staff|
It has been a busy few days off the court for players this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. ATPWorldTour.com provides a recap of the highlights.
Mutua Madrid Open – Madrid, Spain
Rafael Nadal and Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas hosted a star-studded Charity Day at Caja Magica to raise money for their respective foundations. The event brought together a number of figures from sports and entertainment - including Andy Murray, Feliciano Lopez, Carlos Moya - and featured games of tennis, football-tennis, volleyball-tennis and some dancing.
“I’m really thankful to everyone who made the effort to be here to support us,” said Nadal. “Hopefully everyone had a good time at this event, which in the end raised some money for [our] foundations - money that will help us to continue our work with children in need.” Read More
Also this week in Madrid, Nadal received the city’s highest honour, named Honourary Citizen and Adopted Son in a special ceremony at Cibeles Palace. Madrid mayor Ana Botella presented the defending Mutua Madrid Open champion with a medal in recognition for his “outstanding sporting career and his close and continuing relationship with the city of Madrid through engagement with sports and the promotion of its values."
“I want to share this distinction with the citizens of Madrid,” said Nadal. “I feel very close to Madrid because I love the city and also because the people here always support me in a big way.” Read & Watch
Frenchman Gilles Simon, Canadian Vasek Pospisil and Italian Andreas Seppi lifted spirits at the Caja Magica, taking time to chat with fans during autograph sessions and sponsor visits. Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan also paid a visit to the ball kids, taking 'selfies' with all the youngsters.
Reigning Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez also paid a visit to Cibeles Palace, joining the mayor, WTA players Anabel Medina and Dominika Cibulkova, Tournament Director Manuel Santana and Ion Tiriac for the official launch of the Mutua Madrid Open.
David Ferrer inspired the next generation of Spanish tennis players at a kids’ clinic, having a hit with the youngsters and signing autographs. “It’s nice to play with the kids,” he said. “I was a kid also and enjoyed it at ATP tournaments when I played with professional players. Now I am a tennis professional and I’m happy to be here with them.” Watch Feature
Grigor Dimitrov charmed VIP guests at a clinic, showing off his personality and full array of trick shots. “It’s not only fun for them, but we enjoy it a lot. It feels really comfortable and at the same time you can practise a few shots here and there off the coach's eye, which is a pretty good thing. We enjoy it, we’re happy when we can see the smiles on their faces.” Watch Feature
In a more somber moment, members of the tennis family gathered on centre court Monday evening in a minute of silence for Elena Baltacha. The former women’s British No. 1 died of liver cancer, aged 30. Following his opening match Wednesday, Andy Murray paid tribute to his countrywoman, writing “Bally” with a heart on the camera lens.
"It's been a tough ten days or so," he admitted. "I kind of kind of had an idea what was going on with Elena because my mom is obviously very close with her and her husband." Read Tributes