Madrid Open: Spanish trio protest 2022 wildcard selections

Madrid Open

Spanish ATP Tour regulars Fernando Verdasco, Carlos Taberner and Pablo Andujar have voiced their disapproval of the Madrid Open’s choice of wildcards.

Only one Spanish player made it into the four wildcards handed out for the men’s draw.

Carlos Gimeno was named alongside France’s Lucas Pouille and Britain’s Andy Murray and Jack Draper.

Pouille has never made it past the second round in Madrid and his selection is most puzzling.

The Spanish trio issued a statement that read: “Following today’s announcement by the Mutua Madrid Open of the wild cards they are going to award for this year’s event, many Spanish players cannot help but give our opinion.

“Looking at any other tournament in the same category, local players get significantly higher support.

“We fully trust that the main sponsors of the tournament, the Madrid City Council, Mutua Madrilena and Spanish companies—along with the Spanish sports federations, and spectators who are largely nationals—want to be supporting Spanish players and are investing in this tournament to help our sport and want the greatest Spanish presence possible, so we imagine their disappointment and hope they show it.

“We felt it was important to communicate that we are sad we cannot play in our country and share the circumstances that have led to us not having the opportunity.”

No Spanish women were given wildcards for the 2022 Madrid Open, drawing criticism from Paula Badosa.

“I entered the tournament with a wild card a year ago, and it was one of the best of my career,” the World No 3 said.

The statement suggested that Spanish players’ wildcard requests were simply ignored.

Six of the eight wildcards were handed to IMG players with the exceptions being Murray and Gimeno.

Murray brushed off the suggestion that he should surrender his wildcard and play qualifiers instead.

IMG, who also own the Miami Open, recently bought the Madrid Open and the Acciona Open de España golf tournament from Super Slam Ltd in a sale confirmed on 1 April 2022.

The ATP and WTA Mandatory event marks its 20th-anniversary edition this season.