This past week I was lucky enough to spend some time at the WTA Mallorca Open, watching international tennis on grass courts.
Having visited many of the pre-Wimbledon tournaments over the years, including Queen’s, Nottingham, Manchester and (of course) the Liverpool International, I was very excited about watching grass court tennis in Spain. Whilst the weather across Great Britain was very mixed as the grass court season took full swing, watching top class tennis in 30 degree heat, without a cloud in the sky, was somewhat of a novelty.
The tournament, which is in its second year, took place at Santa Ponsa Tennis Club, which boasts a mixture of clay and grass courts with Toni Nadal once again at the helm as Tournament Director. The setting was intimate and friendly with the players entered enjoying the guaranteed weather for the week of the event. This year’s field saw Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasija Sevastova, Caroline Garcia and Carla Suarez Navarro from in and around the WTA top twenty, along with crowd favourites Genie Bouchard, Sabine Lisicki and wild card Victoria Azarenka. In addition, former world number one’s Martina Hingis and Jelena Jankovic were in action in the doubles event.
There were some great matches as the tournament progressed on Pista Central but one of the highlights of the trip was getting to watch Rafa Nadal training on the practice courts as he prepared for Wimbledon on home turf. Getting to watch one of the greatest players of all time from such a close vantage point was very memorable and very enjoyable. We also got the chance to watch current WTA Number 1, Angelique Kerber training in Santa Ponsa the week before she was competing in Eastbourne.
All in all, the Mallorca Open was a very enjoyable tournament and I am pleased to add it to my list of events I have visited. I would recommend it to anyone to attend, as an alternative to the more traditional pre-Wimbledon events. The weather was fantastic and the chance to feel part of the event was very enjoyable. The organisers have put together a really fun event and the staff and volunteers could not have been more helpful and welcoming. I would love to go back there again in the future but for now it’s time to plan another tournament trip destination…