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Nadal confirms presence at ATP Buenos Aires

By Eric Weil

Sportsworld

Other names later this month

Rafael Nadal, the world number one, confirmed his presence at next year’s ATP Buenos Aires tournament, but other participants will be only known in the next two weeks, according to tournament president Miguel Nido.

At yesterday’s presentation of the ATP Buenos Aires tournament, to be played at the Buenos Aires Tennis Club from February 8 to 16, the “big news” announced was that world number one Rafael Nadal would be playing, although he had already said he would when he was here for exhibition games last month. The Spaniard had played in the tournament once before in 2005 when he was not yet number one and reached the quarterfinals.

No other players were announced, but tournament president, Miguel Nido hoped he would have four other names in a week or two. He did however mention that title defender David Ferrer will stay in Europe, but he hoped that the rest of the usual Spanish “armada,” Nicolás Almagro, Fernando Verdasco and Tommy Robredo, would be present. Meanwhile, Argentine Juan Martín Del Potro, refused the invitation as usual and prefers to stay in Europe, but it is hoped that other leading Argentine players will participate.

Nido scotched the rumour that Nadal had asked for the main draw to be reduced from 32 to 28 so that he has a match less and that the final should be scheduled for Saturday so that he has an extra day of rest before starting play in the Brazil Open. Such a change would have to be registered six months before the tournament, Nido said.

Nadal is due to debut on Tuesday at 8pm.

Total prize money for the tournament is 250,000 dollars and Nido emphasized that Nadal was certainly not coming for the money as he usually plays for much higher prizes as will be the case in the following Brazil Open.

Tournament director Martín Jaite — who refused to answer questions on Del Potro’s situation with the Davis Cup — said the stadium’s capacity is being increased by 1,000 to 5,500 and tickets will be on sale at the club from January 8. Entry for the qualifying matches in February on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 is free, while for the main draw tickets cost as follows: Monday 9, whole day from 176 to 800 pesos, day session 50 to 200, night session 150 to 700; Monday 9 to Thursday 13, respectively 350-1400, 100-300 and 300-1250; Friday 14 (quarterfinals) 450-2500, 125-600 and 375-2000; Saturday 15 (semifinals) and Sunday 16 (finals) 450-2500 (only one session).

Day sessions start at 2pm and night sessions at 8pm from Monday to Friday, while on Saturday 2pm and Sunday 12 noon. Tickets for the whole tournament cost from 2100 to 11,000 pesos, 1250 to 6000 for evenings only and 1275 to 7100 for week-end only. The doubles tournament will also be played on all days.

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