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The Casino Admiral Trophy brings high-quality tennis to Marbella

Leitgeb, Mérida, Menéndez and Davidovich on Tuesday.
Leitgeb, Mérida, Menéndez and Davidovich on Tuesday. / J. Rodríguez
  • Carballés, Robredo, Granollers, Adrián Menéndez and Davidovich are the main attractions at the ATP Challenger which starts on Saturday

The Puente Romano tennis club in Marbella will host one of the highest-ranked competitions in the province for many years when the Casino Admiral Trophy gets under way on Saturday.

The ATP Challenger, which will run until 31 March, will bring together some of tennis' elite, young players looking to make their way in the sport and others with long but contrasting careers.

With the final phase of the competition taking place during Easter Week, this competition has been especially attractive to players hoping to use it as preparation for Roland Garros.

The official presentation for the tournament took place in Marbella on Tuesday at which the names of players set to take part was announced. Among them is local player Adrián Menéndez, 32, who has hit form and is 112th on the ATP ranking. He will be hoping to go far in both the singles and doubles - he will be accompanied in the latter by Jürgen Melzer.

Another local is Carlos Gómez, 27, who a few weeks ago reached the final of a Challenger.

Slovakian team

In terms of the favourites to lift the trophy, tournament director, Ronald Leitgeb, announced that the majority of the Slovakian Davis Cup side would be competing, as well as a number of top-100 players such as Roberto Caballés (ATP 78th), Tommy Robredo and Marcel Gronollers.

As for the up-and-coming stars, all eyes will be on junior Wimbledon winner and local Alejandro Davidovich (445th) and junior Roland Garros champion Alexei Popyrin (446th).

The competition is also an opportunity for the town itself to further establish itself in the sport. Marbella Sports councillor Javier Mérida said: “Marbella is a tennis town and it is our intention to negotiate for this tournament to stay here for years to come.”