What makes the Madrid Masters so unique?

The Madrid Masters are a part of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments on the men’s professional tennis circuit. The clay court event is notable for being played at a higher altitude compared to other Masters 1000 events. It has a faster court pace index compared to the other clay court Masters events that held in Rome and Monts Carlo.

The tournament began in 2002 as an indoor hard court event. It was classified under the ATP Masters series back then. The event was initially held a few weeks before the year-ending championships in its initial editions. In 2009, the rebranding of the ATP Tour converted Madrid to a clay court event and rescheduled it during the European clay court swing. Since then, along with the Rome Masters, the event has been held in back-to-back weeks. As an indoor event, the tournament was held in Madrid Arena before it shifted to Caja Magica. The tournament is a WTA 1000 event in the women’s circuit. In both the men’s and women’s singles, the tournament features a draw of 96 players across the qualifying draw.

One of the highlights of the event was its experiment with the blue clay in 2012. Even though the tournament was completed for that season, players grumbled about it being slippery in nature. The primary goal of the organizers to experiment with the blue clay was to improve the visibility for the television audience. Even though that objective was achieved, the inherent nature of blue clay of being a risk to sustain an injury to the players lead to its cancellation. The event reverted back to red clay in 2013. Roger Federer and Serena Williams are thus the only players to win a singles title on blue clay.

As of 2023, the most successful male player at Madrid is Rafael Nadal with 5 titles. Petra Kvitova is the player with the most successful female tennis player with 4 titles. The tournament offers a prize money of €7,705,780 in to the winner of both the men’s and women’s singles event.

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