Who Owns the Madrid Open?

Published 04/24/2021, 10:56 AM EDT


Mutua Madrid Open is one of the premier ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. Since its inception in 2002 as an ATP event, it has undergone a lot of changes and is now a two-week event and a WTA event as well.

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The reason behind the huge upscale was the change in ownership of the event in 2009. That year, former player and now businessman, Ion Tiriac became the owner.

What is Ion Tiriac’s net worth?

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Ion Tiriac has been the proud owner of Madrid Open since 2009. He is a former ATP player and coach and a businessman now. According to Forbes, is the 1833rd richest person in the world and the second richest Romanian. Tiriac has a net worth of $1.7 billion and has been a keen promoter of the Madrid Open and thus has contributed to its transformation.

Tiriac has transformed the tournament to make it an ATP and WTA with a high prize money purse. Furthermore, following his ownership in 2009, Madrid Open moved to a state-of-the-art stadium with a retractable roof called Caja Magica. The stadium now also plays host to the Davis Cup finals.

In 2021, Madrid Open became a two-week event, thus joining a list of tournaments that are running for more than a single week. The Romanian has also attracted a lot of sponsors and revenue to the event.

Rafael Nadal is the record five-time Madrid Open champion. (Photo by Abraham Caro Marin/Getty Images)

The debacle of blue clay at Madrid Open

In 2012, Tiriac also led the charge to experiment with blue clay. Thus the 2012 edition of Madrid Open had the infamous ‘blue clay’. But that saw a lot of backlash from players as the conditions were slippery, contributing to injuries.

Incidentally, Federer won that year, and then the event faced a boycott from top players like Nadal and Djokovic. From 2013, Madrid Open reverted back to the normal red clay.

“The court is slippery and I apologize. We wanted to make sure that we had no player injuries, no ankle problems. As a result, the court experts rolled the base with too much pressure. When the blue sand was put on top it was unable to mix with the base; that created the slippery conditions. I take all of the blame for what is happening. But on TV the pictures are unbelievable with the blue. We are working hard to fix everything,” Tiriac said.

Ion Tiriac’s beef with Serena Williams

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Tiriac is also known for his recent and infamous beef with Serena Williams. He criticized her for her physical build and asked her to retire right away. In response to his comments, Serena Williams’ husband took a jab at him.

“It was not clear to me exactly what was happening. And it was a math job. At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago. Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view.”

Tiriac is a former top 10 player and a French Open doubles champion. He is also a part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

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Bhavishya Mittal

958 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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