After a controversial 2012 edition, the top stars came out in full force Thursday to open the 2013 Mutua Madrid Masters and support the city’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics. Spanish hero Rafael Nadal was joined by fellow stars Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and countrymen Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez in a ceremony held on site a the Tennis Garden.
“Thank you all very much for being here and supporting tennis,” Nadal said. “As Spaniards we are always particularly excited about competing on home soil and this is our flagship event, the most important and highest ranking tournament Spain has created and we will all work together to ensure that the tournament continues to grow.”
Nadal arrived into Madrid earlier today and already enjoyed a 2-hour practice with Kevin Anderson on the new red clay – changed from blue. Rafa has twice won the title but lost last year to Verdasco on the slick blue dirt.
The men/women event begins this weekend. The draws will be released on Friday.
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