In San Carlos de Apoquindo, on a cement court and with a private plane: the details of Rafael Nadal’s visit to Chile

On November 24, Rafael Nadal will arrive in Chile for the third time in his career and after nine years. It will do so within the framework of a tour of Latin America, which includes four other stations: Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia. In those countries he will be accompanied by the Norwegian Casper Ruud, number two in the world and a finalist at Roland Garros and the US Open this season. Nevertheless, in Santiago his rival will be Alejandro Tabilo, with whom he will dispute the Jorge Yarur Cup, the next day.

Unlike other countries, the purpose of the visit of the greatest grand slam winner in history is related to inclusion, since within the event There will be a preliminary exhibition between the Argentine wheelchair tennis player Gustavo Fernández and the Spanish Martín de la Puente, two of the great international figures in this modality.

“This is a non-profit event. Jorge Yarur told us ‘let’s bring Rafa and let’s also show what wheelchair tennis players do’. It is not an issue in which we are going to have blue numbers here, far from it ”explains Gabriel Basso, executive director of the Fashion Museum Foundation, the entity behind the Manacorí visit.

“He accepted first. He has always had a very cordial relationship with Chile and especially with Jorge. In addition, we told him that it was a non-profit event, in which we brought him to support us by showing wheelchair tennis players. Through Carlos Costa, the reception has been perfect. Rafa knows who brings him here and what the goal is here, ”he adds, about the Spanish star’s response.

“He had a very good reaction, because they have always welcomed him very well here. Rafa even remembered the times he was in both of Jorge’s houses, where he made a five-star meal for him and the rest of the Viña ATP players and also remembered the statue here in Santiago,” says Carlos. Ampuero, director of the event.

Also the choice of the rival of the legend went through a deep reflection in February of this year. “We weren’t looking for all the champions. If that’s why, disabled tennis players don’t appear on the covers and we’re left turning the issue around. But from the first moment we chose Tabilo, the fact that he is now number one in Chile did not influence anything, because when we thought about it he was not “precise.

“We chose Tabilo because of his commitment to the Chilean public, with the gesture of choosing to represent Chile instead of playing for Canada. For us that was super significant and meeting him put the icing on the cake. We saw a guy with resilience, with humility… and he showed us that the only thing he wanted was to play with his idol. That closed us perfectly”, complements Basso.

And while Rafa has never faced the Toronto-born southpaw, he has had gestures. “In the event support commercial, without having to do so, he mentioned Alejandro, which shows his commitment to the event and his human quality”highlights Ampuero.

As soon as the exhibition was confirmed, various scenarios were put on the table to carry it out, taking advantage of the Fifth Region. However, there was a change of plans, as there were various complications to use the Sausalito Stadium, forcing another route to be taken. “Viña was the first option, there was also Santa Laura and the Monumental. Finally, we ended up in San Carlos de Apoquindo, because it is the only place where we can set up a certain number of bleachers”maintains Ampuero.

In this context, it provides details on the capacity that the venue will have for the game on November 25. “We want a capacity of between 11,000 and 12,000 tickets, which is what the construction allows us”he adds, along with confirming that one of the demands of the authorities was the implementation of security rings for the event.

Regarding prices, the idea of ​​the organization is only to recover the investment. “We made a comparative chart and the prices are going to be quite similar to what Federer’s exhibition was in Chile. We could have raised it, even, but we do not pursue a profit in this “, says the director of the event. In that plane, the cheapest tickets started at $ 75 thousand. However, there will be a discount for clients of the sponsors through pre-sale. Meanwhile, the sale is scheduled for the next few days, through the PuntoTicket system.

Also, one of the complexities that raised the costs was a request from Nadal about the surface. “He will probably continue playing in 2023 and he asked as a favor that in every city where he plays there is a hard court. So, that means another effort, because you have to build it and then demolish it, because it is going to be occupied by a single party, which is not minor”, ​​he says.

Meanwhile, the official ball of the exhibition will be from the Babolat brand, sponsor of the Majorcan.

The two days that Nadal will be in Chile include a series of events. “He arrives on Thursday, November 24, there will be an agenda of activities with the sponsors and the tradition of eating with Jorge will be resumed. He has already been to both of Jorge’s houses, in Santiago and in Viña. In addition, we want to put together a sample with some tennis things”, confirms Gabriel Basso.

Likewise, the intention is to carry out inclusive activities. “We want to make the Telethon participate. We do not know if through a visit to a center or through another activity. It can be a match before the preliminary. It is the month of the Telethon and we have to bond in some way”expresses the executive director of the Fashion Museum.

Within the peculiarities of Nadal’s visit, there is the formula so that he can move around the continent. “All the cities have agreed to have an exclusive plane for him and his team. So after the game he goes to pick up his things at the hotel and goes to Bogotá, which is the next stop ”reveals Carlos Ampuero.

In the next few days, the official presentation of the event will take place, where a greeting from Rafa and the other tennis players will be shown, as well as a welcome video from Jorge Yarur, who is out of the country these days.

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