“No Funds To Pay”: Rafael Nadal To Miss Mexico Open As Tournament Fails To Support His Demands

Published 02/26/2021, 7:40 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


For the past few years, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has headlined the Mexico Open tennis tournament in Acapulco. He is one of the most successful players at the event, winning it thrice in 2005, 2013, and 2020.

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However, this season, Rafael Nadal will not feature in Acapulco as the organizers are not able to afford his appearance fees. The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic have resulted in this unfortunate situation.

With the rule of accomodating fewer audiences and the compulsion to create a bubble for the players, organizers are facing difficulties managing finances.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Acapulco Open head comments on his relationship with Rafael Nadal’s agent

Players such as Rafa charge from the range of $500,000 to a million dollars as appearance fees. However, that investment is more than beneficial for tournament organizers.

The presence of elite players such as Roger, Novak, and Rafa attracts massive audiences and helps tournaments in filling the stands.

Commenting on Rafa’s absence this year, Mexican Tennis Open’s director, Raul Zurutuza said, “The relationship with Carlos Costa (Nadal’s agent) is super good and things were very open, the reality is that there are no funds to pay. Our budget for this year is super mega limited.”

Although Nadal will not be seen in Mexico this year, stars such as Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Diego Schwartzman will compete for the title. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his fourth round match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Speaking more about the players competing at the event, the tournament director added, “We already had a signed contract with Zverev and it was more expensive to cancel it than to pay him. And the other players, the four or five that we invited with an appearance fee have put the batteries, their economic demands are substantially lower than what they normally do.”

Last season, the twenty-time Grand Slam winner won the Mexico Open. He beat American tennis player Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the final. 

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Rohan Kollare

575 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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