La Manga Club will once again be hosting top Fed Cup action in February, when Spain launches the country’s bid for a rare double in international tennis.
The men defeated Canada in November, at a new-look Davis Cup tournament in Madrid. Now it’s the women’s turn, as they begin their challenge for the 2020 Fed Cup title with a first match against Japan at the Murcia resort from 7 to 8 February.
Former world number one, 2016 French Open winner and 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza helped Spain defeat Paraguay 3-1 when they played at La Manga Club in April 2018.
Muguruza is set to return to Fed Cup action in February, leading Spain against a Japanese team expected to be boosted by another top world-ranked player, 2019 Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Osaka had missed the match when Spain and Japan were also pitted against each other in February 2019, in a world qualifier in Kita-Kyushu. On that occasion, Georgina Garcia-Perez led Spain to a 3-2 victory.
Five-times champions Spain failed to qualify for the main world group in 2019 but, after making it through the pre-qualifying stages for 2020, they will be hoping to secure their first title since 1998. Japan are yet to engrave their name on the trophy.
The Fed Cup is following the Davis Cup’s lead in converting to a “World Cup of Tennis” format this year, including the launch of the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest (Hungary) from 14 to 19 April.
Under the new format, the number of nations will be increased from eight to 20, with 12 qualifying for the Fed Cup Finals. Sixteen countries, including Spain and Japan in Murcia, will be competing in the 2020 qualifiers on 7-8 February, to earn one of eight places in the finals. There they will be joined by the previous year’s finalists, Australia and champions France, host nation Hungary and one wild card nation to be confirmed.
According to Nicolas Almagro, the ex-world number nine who is now tennis academy director at the sport and leisure resort, “La Manga Club has a rich pedigree of hosting the Fed Cup, and it’s fantastic news that we’ve been chosen to stage such an important international event, especially coming so soon after the men’s victory in the Davis Cup.
“I know as a former player, it was always a great privilege when I had the chance to play here. The courts, facilities and setting are on a par with the very best in the world, and I can’t wait for the chance to welcome some of the biggest names in the game to the resort.”
La Manga Club is the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association and also an official resort partner of Tennis Europe (Europe’s largest tennis association). Its facilities include 20 clay courts (in addition to the exhibition court and central court with capacity for 1,200 spectators), four fast courts and four artificial grass courts.
For more information about other leisure activities in the Murcia region, check out our comprehensive Local Area section.