Valencia Open Will No Longer Continue; ATP To Decide New Location In Belgium

This year’s Valencia Open will be the last edition of the tournament according to tournament director Juan Carlos Ferrero. The tournament will not be held in Valencia due to a dispute between the organizers of the event and the government of the region. According to tennis writer Michal Samulski, the event will be moved to Belgium. The tournament will either take place in Brussels or Antwerp with a decision going to be made by the ATP World Tour in mid-November. Joao Sousa of Portugal is the last champion of the Valencia Open after defeating Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the final.

History Of The Valencia Open

The Valencia Open inaugurated in 1995 but moved the following year to Marbella. The stay in Marbella was short-lived, moving to Majorca in 1998. The event remained in Majorca for five years until moving back to Valencia in 2003. From 2003 on, the tournament has been held in Valencia. The tournament began as an ATP World Series event, later renamed to an International Series event, which gave out 250 points to the winner.

The event was originally held on outdoor clay and was held during late September or early October until 2000, when it moved to the spring, becoming an official part of the clay swing leading up to the French Open. In 2009, the event was promoted from an International Series event to an ATP 500 event and also switched from a clay court to an indoor hard court. The switch of surface pushed the tournament back into the fall, making it a part of the European indoor hard court swing, the final portion of the season leading up to the BNP Paribas Paris Masters and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

This year, Valencia was demoted to a 250 event with the Erste Bank Open in Vienna claiming Valencia’s 500 slot. David Ferrer has the most titles in Spain’s third-largest city with three and has made the most finals with five. In the 21 years of its existence, the tournament final did not have a Spaniard in it on four occasions, 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2009.

Ferrero On The Tournament

Ferrero, a former world number one born in the region, said he was very disappointed that an agreement with the government was not honored and were considering renting or selling the licence for the event, which has been running since 2003, to another city.

"We feel we have been deceived," Ferrero told a news conference after Sunday's final. "In 2014, there was an accord with the previous administration and it was not honoured and we feel deeply deceived by the new government," added the 2003 French Open champion.

"It's not state aid or a subsidy, it's a commercial agreement, an accord that benefits the administration financially. This tournament was a gift for the Valencia residents but we have to move on. I am very upset. It was me who bought the tournament many years ago with the understanding it would have a future."