Cet événement, outre le fait qu'il soit sportif a pour but de promouvoir les îles Baléares comme destination touristique.
Durant cette compétition de deux jours, il y aura 5 matches joués :
- 2 matches simples hommes
- 1 match simple femmes
- 1 double mixte
- 1 match entre Rafa et la russe de 19 ans et 4ème mondiale, Maria Sharapova
Torneo Illes Balears to bring together Nadal and Sharapova in Calvià
Diario Mallorca, Wednesday 29th March
TENNIS · EXHIBITION
Third edition 23rd/24th May in Puerto Portals with Moyá and Llagostera also on the local team
By J. ROTGER. PALMA.
Next May, Calvià will again play host to world tennis with the presence anticipated of such top players as Rafael Nadal and the Russian Maria Sharapova, who will even play an exhibition match against one another. This third edition of the Torneo Illes Balears is planned as a competition between Mallorcan tennis players and the rest of the world.
The tournament will take place on 23rd and 24th May, the week before the start of the second Grand Slam of the year - Roland Garros - which last year was won by the Mallorcan Nadal, who with Carlos Moyà and Núria Llagostera are three of the island tennis players who have confirmed they will take part, according to organisation sources. The event is intended to be a showcase for the promotion of the island as a tourist destination.
The fourth local player should be Tomeu Salvà, but his possible involvement in the qualifying rounds for the Paris tournament could mean that he cannot take part this year. Last year on his debute, he defeated Carlos Moya in his first match but then lost to Nadal in the semifinal. If he cannot compete, a represenative of the 'Escuela Balear de Tecnificación de Tenis' will be chosen to make up the team.
Though the details have yet to be finalized, the Russian player, the present number 4 in the WTA ranking, would even be prepared to come to the island a week beforehand to prepare for Roland Garros, which begins 29th May and ends 11th June. In fact, this is one of the conditions put by the Siberian, who will be 19 in April and this year has won one tournament, giving her a total of 14 in her career.
The format of the competition will be a combination between the Davis Cup and the Hopman Cup. It is planned that five matches be played during the two days of the exhibition event: 2 men's singles, 1 women's singles, 1 mixed doubles and a match between Nadal and Sharapova.
It has not yet been confirmed what other players will represent the rest of the world. One of the possibilities is the Belarussian Max Mirnyi. This is being handled by IMG, the company that represents the majority of the top ranking players, both in the ATP and the WTA, including the Mallorcans Nadal and Moyà.
The budget is of around 400,000 euros, initially put up by the Baleares government, although a 150,000 euro agreement with a private sponsor to take over from last year's, Seat Altea, is about to be sealed.
Another innovation will be the change of location of the tournament, held on Santa Ponça beach in its first two editions - last year on July 2nd, although it will still be within the Calvià municipal boundaries.
Some problems with the permits required by Coastal Planning regulations have made it advisable to change the location to a municipal lot in Puerto Portals, where the clay court and terracing with a seating capacity for 2000 will be constructed.
Voilà donc mis à part cette nouvelle, Rafa est toujours de repos chez lui à Manacor où il s'entraîne pour la saison sur terre battue. Pour lui, elle commencera par le Masters Series de Monte Carlo.
>> Photo magnifique de Rafa, je trouve :D