Richard Krajicek was already pleased with the beautiful place the ABN AMRO tournament had received on the new tennis calendar, but the joy is complete now that the tournament director can announce none other than Rafael Nadal as one of the participants at the beginning of March in the Rotterdam Ahoy. What‘s called a top attraction.
The 34-year-old Nadal is the current number two of the world rankings (behind Novak Djokovic) and with twenty grandslam titles shared record holder with Roger Federer when it comes to winning the main tennis tournaments.
Bit of luck
end, Krajicek was not even so surprised by the application of Nadal. “Not really, no. Last week, I got word from his clothing sponsor, “I think Nadal wants to come play with you.” I say, “Oh, I haven’t heard anything yet.” And two days later I got a message from his manager.”
“ If you look at how long it has been since he played here, we are very happy. Sometimes you need a little luck. Last year, of course, very little was played by the tennis players”, the tournament boss refers to the coronapandemic. “They just want to play games now. And the advantage now was that I was contacted.”
Three times earlier
The Spaniard travelled to the Dutch port city three times earlier. In 2006, however, it was to apologize personally for his late cancellation due to an injury. Two years later, Nadal led the list, but was surprised in the second round by Italian Andreas Seppi.
In 2009, the last time he gave an act in Rotterdam, he started again as a favourite at the tournament and got close to a place in the hall of honor of champions. In the final against the British Andy Murray, however, he was injured to a knee in the second set. He won that set, but went off in the decisive third with 0-6.
After former winner Stan Wawrinka (2015), Kei Nishikori, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner, Nadal is the fifth player to be known for the 48th ABN AMRO tournament, which will take place this year from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 March.