Big changes in store for Portugal’s top tennis tournament
Big changes are in store for Portugal’s major tennis event of the year – a tournament that has been delighting fans for 25 years and most recently brought us the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokvic.
While national media reports that the new organisers will be changing the tournament’s name (currently known as Portugal Open) back to Estoril Open – as well as moving it from Oeiras to the Estoril Tennis Club in Cascais – former organiser João Lagos has guaranteed that the tournament will be “a completely new event”.
“This tournament will not be a continuation of the Estoril Open or the Portugal Open. I did not sell the licence to anyone,” he told sports newspaper Record.
He said that he did not register the tournament’s names because it is “not allowed” and added that if the new organisers do in fact want to use the Estoril name again, “at least call it Estoril Cup, Cascais Open or Portugal Cup.
“Keeping the same name seems like a lack of imagination to me,” said the man who in November admitted he no longer had “the necessary means” to organise the tournament.
Still, Lagos wished the new organisers “luck” and said that he hopes the event will have a “long life”.
According to Diário Económico newspaper, all doubts about the tournament will be put to rest during a press conference next week organised by the tournament’s current organisers – which include Polaris, a sports group led by football magnate Jorge Mendes, Dutch entrepreneur and former tennis player Benno van Veggel and German TV agency U.COM.
It is believed that they will also confirm whether or not it is true that a €700,000 sponsorship deal has been signed with Millennium bcp, as reported by Diário Económico.