SANTA PONSA, Spain - Mallorca, a popular holiday destination for tourists all over Europe - and home to former ATP No.1 Rafael Nadal - will now become even more appealing with the staging of the premier edition of the Mallorca Open from the 11th to 19th of June in 2016.
The $250,000 WTA event will be played at the Santa Ponsa Tennis Club in Calvià, where the tennis women will find ideal conditions to prepare for the Wimbledon Championships.
During the recent groundbreaking ceremony on site, World No.3 Garbiñe Muguruza said she is convinced that the new tournament on grass will be a perfect fit for her after reaching the 2015 Wimbledon final against Serena Williams.
"It's always very special to compete in a tournament on home soil. I am very happy to be part of the first edition of the Mallorca Open next year," said the two-time WTA tournament winner.
Traditionally a hotbed for clay court tennis, Spain will host its first ever grass court tournament as Muguruza aims to be the first Spanish woman to win Wimbledon since Conchita Martínez stunned nine-time champion Martina Navratilova in 1994.
"We are very proud to present a strong players field in the first tournament edition with Garbiñe Muguruza in the lead plus other international top players," explained Edwin Weindorfer, CEO and founder of e|motion. "This guarantees a highly attractive programme for tourists and residents of the island - especially with the night sessions." e|motion also hosts an ATP tournament in Stuttgart, the MercedesCup.
"The Santa Ponsa resort venue is a premium destination for our fans and players to experience and enjoy the fast, aggressive and spectacular tennis that is unique to this surface," said WTA CEO Steve Simon. "I would like to thank our Tournament Promoter, e|motion, for their exceptional efforts in building this new event and also the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and the Community of Calvia for their exceptional support. We look forward to an incredible inaugural event."
While at the groundbreaking, Muguruza was on hand for photos with Weindorfer, Tournament Ambassador (and uncle to Rafael Nadal) Toni Nadal, and Tournament Director Peer Zebergs (pictured from left to right).
The big news for Muguruza and Mallorca has already grabbed headlines in Spanish press.
All photos courtesy of e | motion.