The main draw for the second edition of the Casino Admiral Trophy, to be held at the Puente Romano tennis club in Marbella, is now as good as decided. The names announced for this Challenger, to be played on clay, make it one of the best tournaments of its level.
As it stands, there will be three top 100 players, including Frenchman and six-time Challenger winner Benoît Paire (63rd). He will be the favourite for this edition too. Paire will be accompanied by Pablo Andújar (93rd), the highest-ranked Spaniard in the competition, and Czech Jiri Vesely (98th).
Among the local contingent will be two players, Adrián Menéndez (141st), raised in Marbella, and Alejandro Davidovich (181st), who trains at the Don Carlos and lives in Fuengirola. Both are yet to face each other on the tour, but whether they will get their chance in Marbella depends on the outcome of the qualifying phase of the ATP Masters 1000 Miami. Those who progress to the tournament proper (to be played 20 to 31 March), which could be the case for Menéndez, would have to withdraw.
Besides the three Spanish players already mentioned, six more are expected in Marbella: three veterans, Guillermo García López (109th), Daniel Gimeno Traver (191st) and Tommy Robredo (207th); as well as Roberto Carballés (111th), Pedro Martínez Portero (162nd) and Sergio Gutiérrez Ferrol (214th).
Tickets for the Casino Admiral Trophy are already on sale with prices varying from 10 to 25 euros (www.marbellachallenger.com). Tennis gets under way on Monday 25 March, with the action heating up by the Friday when the quarterfinals take place.
Italy's Stefano Travaglia, who has no plans to go to Marbella this year, won the first edition by beating Argentina's Guido Andreozzi 6-3.