Estoril Open underway at Jamor.jpg

Estoril Open underway at Jamor

PORTUGAL’S PREMIER tennis event, the Estoril Open got underway at the Estádio de Jamor in Lisbon this week and the finals will be played this Sunday (May 7). More than 37,000 spectators attended this clay event last year and with the star-studded line-up in 2006, this year’s attendance figure is likely to be higher.

World number three, David Nalbandian, is playing the Estoril Open for the first time in four years. The Argentine is the top seed at the event, which he is playing for the first time since winning the tournament in 2002.

Former world number one Marat Safin of Russia was a last minute entry to the tournament and is unseeded. Fellow countrymen, David Davydenko, the 2003 Estoril champion, and Dmitry Tursunov are among the top 10 seeds. Other notable names in the men’s competition are Carlos Moya of Spain, France’s Gael “Force” Monfils, a former world junior champion, and Chile’s double Olympic champion Nicolas Massu.

Spanish ace Tommy Robredo was seeded third but pulled out after losing to Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona final last weekend. Meanwhile, British hope Andy Murray was forced to pull out of the tournament due to a back injury. The number eight seed, Belgian Christophe “The Roach” Rochus was knocked out in a major upset in the first round.

In the women’s competition, Italian Flavia Pennetta is the number one seed and will be competing against the likes of Gisela Dulko of Buenos Aires, Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez-Lino and Portugal’s greatest ever female tennis player, Frederica Piedade.

The men will be competing for prize money totalling 531,250 euros while the prize fund for the women’s event is much lower at just 120,000 euros.

Tickets for the Estoril Open range from 15 euros up to 30 euros (final day) and can be bought from the venue itself or from any Fnac store. For more information on the tournament and directions to the venue, call 800 211 010 or visit the event’s website at