Barcelona decks itself out for tennis
The Conde de Godo Trophy is back , now in its 63rd year
18-26 April 2015
In 1953, Carlos Godó Valls (the Count/Conde de Godo) decided to establish a tournament, to take advantage of the recent opening of the new tennis facilities in Pedralbes. The history of this tournament is directly linked to the Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, created in 1899, which has hosted the tournament from the beginning.
This new tournament aimed to restore the competitive spirit of the old International Championships and large interclub competitions, that shape the global tournament calendar.
1999 was one of the years that most stood out in this tournament’s history.It celebrated its Centenary and stellar participants included female players like Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez, male players such as Rafa Nadal, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Javier Sánchez-Vicario, Alberto Berasatequi, Tomás Carbonell, Galo Blanco and others.
Since then it has been a fixture on the circuit of the best players in the international ATP World. In 2014, Kei Nishikori began a new era, by ending Rafa Nadal’s hegemony.
Life on and off the court
Over the years the tournament has become one of the most important events in the city of Barcelona’s calendar, not only in sporting but also social terms. During the tournament, in the city centre,(Cathedral Square), various activities are put on to entertain people of all ages. The shops on the Passeig de Gràcia decorate their windows with tennis related motifs to boost the image of the Barcelona Open’s sponsor Banc Sabadell.
This is a unique and exclusive space within the facilities of the Real Club de Tennis de Barcelona, which was completely upgraded in 2009. It has its own restaurant and total of 26 marquees, each 6x6 meters of aluminum, glass and wood bring brightness and warmth to the tournament. They also create a promenade and a perfect place to mingle with celebrities: a real Fan’s Boulevard! In 2014 a total of over 20,000 visitors was recorded.
The Conde de Godo Trophy was designed in 1953 by jewellers Soler Cabot. Made of sterling silver with a weight of 13 kilos, it has a base of American oak. The trophy was completely renovated by J. Roca jewelers, who increased the size of the base so that all the names of the winners of the competition could be engraved.
This year’s tournament is fraught with tension as the best players meet in the main draw. Rafael Nadal’s physical form has generated much comment after his acknowledgement that he needs to work on anxiety management to win again, after losing in the third round of the Miami Tournament against Fernando Verdasco.