>> Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Three million-dollar tennis tournaments, a small tune-up tournament, and the second Grand Slam in the ATP tennis calendar are at stake for the month of May. Fans of men’s tennis will be following live tennis action in Madrid, Rome, Düsseldorf, Nice and Paris as the clay court swing this spring goes to a different level and climaxes at the French Open 2012 in Roland Garros.
First stop for the tennis tournaments that begin this month is at the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain. Now on its 11th edition, the prestigious tournament boasts of the best players of this current century in its roster of champions. Former champions include Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Marat Safin. Last year, Djokovic notched his 34th straight win as he brought to an end then world #1 Nadal’s 37-match unbeaten run on clay by defeating the defending champion 7-5, 6-4 in the final.
The 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia is the second tennis tournament starting in May. High fashion, fine food, fabulous shopping and celebrity musical performances have made it one of the most glamorous stops on the ATP World Tour. In 2011, a week after ending Nadal’s 37-match unbeaten run on clay in the Mutua Madrid Open final, then world #2 Djokovic dethroned the Spaniard in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. “He is the king of clay and he is the best player ever to play on this surface. I have won against him twice in the last eight days which I think is an incredible achievement for me,” said Djokovic.
After two big tournaments, the top players normally take the next week off to prepare for the French Open. But for players hoping to stay in top clay form, the Power Horse World Team Cup is an opportunity to get practice time on Europe’s red clay. Germany returns as defending champion and host nation at the 2012 Power Horse World Team Cup. Florian Mayer, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Philipp Petzschner will unite in an attempt to win the title for Germany for a record sixth time.
Run parallel to the tennis tournament in Germany, the Nice tournament offers extra practice time on clay before Roland Garros. Nice is one of five ATP World Tour events held in France, along with Marseille, Metz, Montpellier and Paris. Spain's world #12 Nicolas Almagro won the second edition of the tournament in 2011, holding off Romanian Victor Hanescu in the final and in the process winning his third title of the season and 10th overall.
Finally, the big one arrives on the last week of May. Roland Garros was the first Grand Slam tournament to join the “Open” era in 1968, and since then many tennis greats have graced the famous clay courts, including Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Gustavo Kuerten, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Home fans will never forget 1983, the year Yannick Noah became the first, and so far only Frenchman to win the men’s singles title.
In 2011, then world # 1 Nadal won a record-equalling sixth Roland Garros crown on Sunday as he defeated rival Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 in the final in Paris. The 25-year-old Nadal joined Bjorn Borg as the second player in history to win six titles at the clay-court Grand Slam championship. It also marked the end of Djokovic’s 41-match unbeaten run.
Djokovic lost to Federer in the semi-finals but hasn’t lost any Grand Slam match after that successfully winning Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open beating Nadal in the finals in each occasion. This year, Djokovic will be the top seed at the French Open for the first time in his career.
List of ATP Tennis Tournaments for May 2012
06.05.2012 Mutua Madrid Open
Madrid, Spain Clay € 3,090,150
(€ 3,973,695) SGL 56 DBL 24 Email Inquiry
13.05.2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia
Rome, Italy Clay € 2,427,975
(€ 2,950,475) SGL 56 DBL 24 Email Inquiry
20.05.2012 Power Horse World Team Cup
Düsseldorf, Germany Clay € 800,000
(€ 1,300,000) Email Inquiry
20.05.2012 Open de Nice Côte d’Azur
Nice, France Clay € 398,250
(€ 450,000) SGL 28 DBL 16 Email Inquiry
+33 4 91 05 58 52
27.05.2012 Roland Garros
Paris, France Clay
€ TBD SGL 128 DBL 64
+33/8 2665 0000