The participation of the Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, number 1 in the world, in the next edition of the Argentina Open was a “surprise” for the organizers of the contestas recognized this Wednesday by the former Argentine player Martín Jaite, director of the tournament.
“We always seek to have the best possible and sometimes you have to be a little lucky. Last week we received this news that Alcaraz could come to Buenos Aires and that made the tournament have another shine”, Jaite asserted during the presentation ceremony of the competition, which It will be held from February 11 to 19.
At first, the representative of Alcaraz, Albert Molina, had ruled out his presence in the Argentina Open, since He had planned to compete in Australia, in the first Grand Slam of the season to defend his world leadership, but an injury to the semimembranosus muscle in his right leg changed his plans.
“Last week, Molina called me saying: ‘Martín, there is a possibility that Carlos will come to Buenos Aires. We quickly agreed (…). Although we were doing very well with the sales of sponsorships, tickets and expectations, the fact of having the number 1 in the world generates something else,” Jaite pointed out.
Martín Hughes, executive director and partner of Tennium, the championship organizing company, pointed out, for his part, that bringing in the leader of the ATP ranking meant a “huge effort” at the budget level.
“The fact that Carlitos Alcaraz can come is a huge effort, I say it with total honesty. This is not a business for the company, but it is a better show for the people, because the tournament takes another level,” Hugues said at the presentation event, organized in Buenos Aires.
It is not yet defined when the official debut of the Murcian tennis player will be in the competition, Jaite pointed out, adding that he will probably play on Wednesday the 15th or Thursday the 16th “at night”.
“It is not a decision only of the organization, but you have to see when the player comes and how he is. It is not clear when he will arrive, but he will be arriving on Friday night or Saturday morning,” he said.
The Argentina Open, an ATP 250 tournament with more than twenty years of existence, is held on the clay of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, in the Argentine capital, and hands out nearly $630,000 in prizes.
On January 11, the organization announced the presence of Alcaraz, who could lose the world number 1 during the Australian Open in favor of the Norwegian Casper Ruud or the Serbian Novak Djokovic, after the Spanish Rafa Nadal was eliminated in second round.
The Murcian He is the favorite of the Buenos Aires teamwhich is followed by the British Cameron Norrie, number 12 in the world, and the Italian Lorenzo Musetti, United Cup finalist in Australia earlier this year.